Soon it will be the turn of my contemporaries. Many even of these old friends are gone. I know, because I attended the funerals, or received the letters, or caught the shocking news by chance. When they die they grow younger in the passages of the mind. Even Rick, Joe’s eldest, killed by a car at the age of twenty-three, trying to save a dog. My precise contemporary, but now I search in my memory for his face and voice, and for a moment find him vividly before me, but reverted to eight or nine. It is as if they perish through birth as well as death, growing ever smaller.
Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself.