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The eyes of a stranger

Perhaps the paranormal believers are onto something.  Do we all have auras?  It’s an easy explanation for a thing that’s puzzled me for a time.  To you, it may not be a puzzle at all, or maybe not something you would think on.  Most likely, just a projection or an assumption on my part.  Call it naïveté, superstition, overthinking, or all of those.

Ah, but it could be (and I do feel it this way) a moment of true clarity.

In even something as simple as a shopping excursion, I pass by hundreds (if not, thousands) of people, and casually make eye contact with many.  Those who leave an impression, for good or ill, are retained in my mind for a time.  I consider myself neither hostile, nor overly kind.  Some who I meet have a welcoming nature, and will return a casual smile.  I like the little scenes that people inadvertently create.  A mother struggling with two kids, one in a stroller, and a full shopping cart, trying to get through the checkout.  A very old woman with a different kind of struggle, peering into her purse for money, while her groceries are sitting on the belt unbagged.  The cashier may or may not show patience, and I see if their eyes are kind or absent.

It seems to depend on the day, or maybe it is truly my own outlook, but the dark side of things is at times more prevalent.  When I come upon a person and lift my eyes to theirs,  what’s returned could be a look of challenge or unreasoning anger.  Or, they may swiftly look away, as if not wanting to be probed, perhaps because they’ve seen something within my own eyes that has disturbed them.  Lastly, they may seem to be shuttered, unreadable, aloof, with the aspect and the Zen of a fleeting animal.

The mother could be whacking the kid’s behind, or the father could be yelling at them.
The Yin and the Yang, but why the seismic shift from day to day?

There was a song, by the Payolas.  “The eyes of a Stranger”.
My friend once said to me, offhandedly, “You know, that’s you sometimes”.

Picture credit:  Deviant Art



Lee Dunn View All

Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.

6 thoughts on “The eyes of a stranger Leave a comment

  1. When you’re a woman there’s a whole nother layer of complication, as many men and some women tend to interpret friendly interest as a come on.

    Once I was actually knocked down by a young woman for smiling at her…

    As for that day to day seismic shift, I’ve noticed it too, brother. ‘Bout like a damn school of fish changing direction. Don’t think the TV explains all of it, at all.

    Good post, bro 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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