Reading people. Like gleaning thin-slices. Like data points, which intuition pieces together to form a coherent, if oddly specific, understanding. A few looks, then a silent bombardment of insight.
The feisty girl in engineering with the short brown hair? She’s done hard drugs. Comes up to me, strikes up a conversation, throws in her experience with shrooms. Didn’t like them. The brunette Barbie-looking girl in class who’s only ever sounded politically neutral? Jewish, wealthy, aspires to be a Fox anchor. Canvassed for the Trump campaign, wrote about it. Interned at Fox last summer. The Caucasian man in the baggy jeans and blue hat? Patient and kind and real enough to straddle the racial line, but not without having to face shit for it.
It’s like that one quote by Roald Dahl:
“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.
It’s the same idea. That people’s thoughts, and experiences, are woven into the way they are, the way they present themselves, the way they act. That it’s all, quite literally, etched on their faces. You can sense it, from the way people talk, the way they walk, the way they wear their hair.
It sounds an awful lot like just judging people, but it goes beyond that. The thing is, people—us, me, you–aren’t as opaque as we imagine. People are complex, which is to say that plots–good ones, at least–are oft filled with loopholes and conflicts and unexpected twists. But there’s always an overarching plot, a “what’s-this-about?” book summary in the Goodreads section.
When it comes to certain details about ourselves, or even lived experiences–we often broadcast much more than we’d like to admit.
4.4.18 | Daily Art