This picture was taken at 'Licks', a burger joint (and I mean that in the least disrespectful way possible) at the Beaches. While James and Vince - two guys we should've met much sooner - dug into some tasty goodness I stood up from our table and snapped this shot of the funky neighborhood, the couple standing outside (I just noticed now that the guy's arm is hanging straight down my cleavage, haha, what a perv!), the neon lights and my own reflection. My last night in Toronto.
It's a cute gimmick - but it got me thinking about how well (or poorly) we look at the people around us. Take Stuk, for example, the cafe I worked at last year and am working at this month. To the customers, the people behind the bar are probably just that: bartenders. Waitresses. Students, perhaps. Do they realize one of the girls is just in Belgium for a short summer visit, and that she's returning to Boston soon to continue her research project at MIT? Do they know one of the guys runs his own architecture firm and only took the Stuk job cause he sits behind a computer all day and wants to do something physically demanding and social after hours? That another guy has put out his own album? Do they think about the fact that we are distracted sometimes because we got into an argument with a good friend? Or because we're wondering why our boy and girlfriends aren't calling? Because someone close to us is on his death bed?
Most people visit your life for such a brief moment that you're left with a quick flash first impression and little else. Like the Jared Leto look-a-like and self-proclaimed sound artist on the airport shuttle. Or the American Jew at the airport who proudly told me he was going on exchange to Germany. And then proceeded to puke his guts out all over the airport floor. They will always be those guys. And the person bringing you your coffee? Same deal. Worse, actually, cause you don't even have a hint of a story to connect to them. You forget about them before they even reach your table (This is not a self-pity deal, I do it too) Which makes it all the more important to remember that everyone is someone. And that the stories, concerns, itches, preoccupations and feelings of every someone are just as relevant as the next person's. I'm not trying to preach a forgive-all-acts-of-rudeness policy. If anything there's too much of a victim culture going on wherein people excuse their unacceptable behavior by referring to "what they've been through". I'm just saying that even if we don't live in our small towns anymore and it has become impossible to know everything about everyone, the acknowledgement alone that there is in fact more than meets the eye to the other people who walk the city streets is, to me, one of the kindest acts of modern man.