n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
It’s enjoyable, entering briefly into someone’s life.
You learn their friends. See what excites them when they’re not at work. Discover what kind of a party-er they are.
And then you move on.
Personally, I’ve often made friends with people for a few months at a time. Maybe it’s some sick need for novelty I have or maybe it’s just a pervasive curiosity that keeps me from sticking with the old, always seeking the new.
Whatever it is, I encourage you to try it — this people-dabbling. Becoming a tourist in someone else’s life is fun: it’s kind of like having your own personal sitcom to tune into.
And whenever it gets too real you can just… Fade away. Move to a new person. That strategy should keep your fear-of-commitment at bay, right?