This morning as I rode Muni towards the financial district, I came to the realization that I'm seeing the in between of people's lives. In the suburbs, you see people at destinations. You see them walking about a grocery store. You have people into your home. You see them at desks. Sometimes, rarely, you see people in their cars at stop lights in their in between. Those moments in the suburbs sometimes reveal head bobbing and lip syncing to Justin Bieber. I've seen some makeup application in the in between. Everyone once in a blue moon, you'll see something extraordinary.
But here in the city, the in between of people's lives run all over the sidewalk. I saw a guy in a neon blue blazer and Reeboks carrying his electric guitar down the street while brushing his borderline mullet. I heard the guy behind me on Muni rapping out loud with Young Money (I had to google that one, all I really heard was him saying "wife beater" a few times). The other day, we saw a woman in a very short dress and thigh high boots making a phone call as we at our Sunday brunch. So much of their in between lives are revealed that you start to make assumptions about the rest of their lives.
On my way home from the Dogpatch neighborhood last week, I saw a man and woman board the Muni with me. At first, I thought the woman was a young boy wearing a hoodie. The grown man was making me nervous though as he guided the person into the car with his hand on the back of her neck and sat her down. All of her body language said that she did not want to be there. The man started caressing her, sliding his hand up her thigh and nuzzling her neck. She kept turning away from him but didn't try to run. I observed this all through the reflection of the window and I contemplated what I should do. Should I say something to him and risk that he may be violent? Should I slip up to the driver and alert him of a situation? Should I calmly call 911 and explain? When the man looked away, I mouthed to the woman, "Are you ok?" She immediately smiled and nodded. I related the story to Mr. Palindrome when I got home and we had two conclusions. 1. She could have been scared and wanted me to not pry and make things worse for her. 2. Maybe they just had a fight, he wanted to make up, but she wasn't ready. I pray it was 2. If it was the second option, they got caught on the Muni in their in between. The private moment would have happened in the car or elevator in the suburbs, but it happened here in public.
What would you have done in that situation? Are you a people watcher? Do you observe other in the in between or do you involve yourself ever?
4 hours ago