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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

FUnny walks and resting faces

Lately I’ve been captivated by how people move and how they don’t move their faces. Ronnie calls them “resting faces” I call them “You know, the look on people’s faces when they are walking and have no idea that I’m looking at them” faces. For simplicity, I might use his term.

The other night, I saw a man at Bryn Mawr and Broadway taking big jerky steps, a bit like a funny walk from Monty Python.

Yesterday morning, I watched a blind man with a seeing eye dog walk into a blind man with a cane. Kind of a pinball or bumper car effect. I’m certain that each thought, “Asshole” about the other–not knowing they’d just run into another blind person.

I tend to walk with my mouth open. Not gaping, but probably a 1/2 inch or so between my lips. Until I notice someone who’s resting face is gaping mouth and then I’m aware of my mouth and I close it. I also have a tendency to talk to myself. Not a whole conversation, but I’ll be playing something out in my head and then suddenly I’ll say my part outloud. Usually a super cool person will round the corner and I’ll realize I’m acting minorly crazy and clam up. Oops.

Watching people move–how they move, how they walk, how they walk with canes, limps, walkers, tennis shoes, sandals, clogs, heels. It might be noticing grace–more of the “there for the Grace of God go I” than graceful motion.

And this sounds silly, but I’ve also been noticing how different people really look. Today I noticed the man at the next table’s large forehead. I wasn’t judging him for it, just noticing. Hmmm. Hooray! A man with a kippah on! How does she stand her commute when she needs a walker? An anorexic woman was on the bus today and I noticed that even her feet were too skinny. I didn’t know that feet could be too skinny and hers were. I wanted to gently grab her and say, “Stop it.” but knew that a stranger pointing it out wouldn’t do any good.

I noticed that my therapist has necklaces hanging on the wall as art, that there are three perfume bottles on the bookshelf, and that the painting of flowers has a path with a fountain in the middle.

I’m not sure where the ramped up observation desire is coming from–a need to produce art, to write more, to live more. It isn’t just about me, but about me in the world and the world without me. Me–I’ve got in pretty good shape, now I need to notice my place perhaps.

Recognize my own face in the crowd.

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