I’m staring at you on the subway because…

Why I'm Staring at you on the Subway

…I’m a writer. Observing people is what I do. I also stare into space sometimes. If you knew, you’d stop thinking I was interested in you. You’d stop trying to grin and inch closer to me . I am interested, but not in that way. But you would never know. I still haven’t built up the courage to tell anyone I write.

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I rarely stare but what’s that book you’re reading? The cover is intriguing, but I can’t catch the title. If you’d just stop glaring and hold still for just one second…

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Yesterday, as my freshly washed hair was drying, my 6-year-old daughter said I looked like a crazy lion. I stumbled upon “the curly girl method last month. It is for everyone who wants to embrace their natural hair texture, which in my case, is frizz-ball, given the 10000% humidity I live in. Since then I’ve bought foul-smelling, sulfate-free products, I’ve shunned my hairbrush, and made gross, slimy flaxseed gel and if anyone tries to touch my hair, I screech like a vampire exposed to sunlight. And yet here I am — crazy lion. I rarely stare, but how do you have perfect curls in this weather? What do you know that I don’t? 

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I wasn’t looking at you when you were stealing side glances at the hoarding for that bikini wax place, There’s a Brazilian reasons to get waxed, it said. Maybe you were internally chuckling at the wordplay, maybe you were ogling at the scantily clad woman in the ad, whatever it was, I’m not judging. Only when I saw you look at me and go red in the face, fumble with your keys, scratch your head and cough, did I know, Don’t mind me, I might have been looking in your general direction, but I’m just a mom who was enjoying a few minutes of kid-free time by focusing on nothing for once. 

Like I said, I rarely stare.

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7 thoughts on “I’m staring at you on the subway because…

    1. mixedbag Post author

      I’m so glad to hear that, thanks, Margaret. My anxiety has been off the charts lately, so I wrote this non-Covid post.

      Reply
  1. Jen Mierisch

    Terrific little piece. As a fellow frizzball, I laughed at “how do you have perfect curls in this weather? What do you know that I don’t?” I have asked myself that same question about strangers’ hair so. many. times.

    Reply
  2. Asha

    :::snort::: getting caught staring into space while focused on a person is a cornerstone of my life. I like the way you connected each of these vignettes with a central theme. That was a good way of providing a clear structure.

    Reply

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