Sometimes when I go to do my marketing on the weekend, I keep my sunglasses on indoors. Its not to protect my eyes from light, but so people will not see that I am watching them. When people don’t know you are looking, they become their real and venal selfs -delightfully sneaky and perverse.
Today I observed a somewhat normal looking young man of the hipster variety. He had on an ironic tee-shirt, some flip-flops. His face was carefully unkempt and scruffy. He had a backpack on his narrow shoulders, and peeking from under his short, frayed sleeves, the beginnings of what might eventually become a tattoo-ed story, but for now was just stray icons of personal meaning.
I watched him while I stood in line at Red Apron, waiting patiently for them to assemble an Italian Roast Beef sandwich. They make marvelous sandwiches which require a certain amount of dexterity to come away from the experience with no crumbs in the goatee or new stains on the shirt. As I watched and he didn’t appear to notice, he pointedly stared at a full, round, tightly clad woman’s behind as she made her selections in the butcher’s case. Little beads of sweat formed on his upper lip which he nervously licked off. His cheeks flushed just a little bit. It may have been the heat and the humidity, or it may have been his hands, discretely working away inside his pockets as he leaned his hips forward and enjoyed the friction. I don’t know if the woman noticed his attentions or if he noticed mine, but for five minutes while waiting for a sandwich, the temperature went up a degree in our little area of the crowded market. Tiny droplets of sweat conspired against him and darkened the pits and crevice of his back between his shoulder-blades as his hands busied themselves inside his pockets. I found myself wondering if he was wearing boxers, briefs, or no underwear at all, and if he was at his business through well sewn but well worn pockets, or if this particular habit rewarded itself with a hole through which he could reach and make skin to sweaty skin contact?
I smirked a bit, glad that my sunglasses were firmly disguising my observations.
My name was called, and reluctantly, I stepped forward to retrieve my sandwich. My forward motion resulted in waking the hipster from his un-self-conscious pleasures as the indecisive woman continued to bend and not make her choices at the butcher’s counter.