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Jason Pawlak

Me and my Internet

Husband, Dad, Navy Officer, Coder, and Tinkerer. I have many interests and am always looking to learn something new. This site is a launching point to the many areas of the Internet that represent me.

3rd and State

Note: This post has been imported for “completeness” of my blog. It was originally posted on a different blog, “The Hushed Allegory”. But as time has moved along, this blog seems to be my legacy of sorts. So, I think it is fitting to roll this post (along with a few others) into these archives. The original “genesis” of this blog was the post titled, “Delighted to meet you…”.

You have probably seen her before; or rather, she has probably seen you. I would describe her as that average height, average build, attractive… very attractive, brunette, that works downtown in that tall office building as an accountant, but that doesn’t narrow it down all too well. I first met her 6 years ago… her name is Samantha. If by chance you had seen her, you would know it by her eyes. They are no ordinary eyes. They are soft, shy eyes, eyes that can melt the coldest of hearts, mysterious eyes, eyes that if sent to war, would make enemy armies embrace and sulk, beautiful eyes. However, most of all, they are… dreamy eyes.

Every weekday morning, Samantha kisses her 5-year-old golden retriever, Dillon, good-bye, and catches the 7:35 train just down the street from her apartment and rides downtown to work. Along the path from street side to her cubicle, which is right around the 21st floor, she masks a halfway ‘happy to see you’ face and exchanges some of those casual ‘hellos’ or ‘how was your weekends?’ with fellow coworkers. You know the greetings, the ones in which you never remember the reply by the time you leave eyesight. When arriving at her 6 foot by 6 foot home away from home, she drops her business-casual black purse and makes way to the coffee pot before settling in for a multi-hour staring contest with her computer.

Samantha is what I like to call a PW, a people-watcher. The highlight of her workday comes at 11:45 when she makes her way down to street level and walks two blocks south, finding a seat, either on a bench in the shaded, metropolitan, squirrel park, or in the Starbucks across the street, depending on the weather that is. Here, on her perch, is where she watches. Today, she finds an unattended bench by the fountain, under a tree that is starting to show its September leaves. Slowly, her fatigued, green eyes, take in the scene in front of her, pausing at a couple, cuffed by interlocking fingers, gaily walking in front of a quaint Italian restaurant, both smiling, while the girl chatters on about who knows. A small, tug at her heart keeps her eyes moving, giving a sense of lonesome solitude.

Sipping on her thermos of sweetened, raspberry iced-tea, she lets her eyes wander further, along with her mind, pondering on each individual person that passes. There are the regulars on the street, each day passing with the same expressions, just a tie of different design, and she knows them. Never has she spoken to them, but she knows them. Her dreamy eyes give knowledge of each person’s home-life, single, married, divorced, how many kids, where they work, what they like to do on the weekends. For 6 years now, Samantha has been creating the lives of all those on the corner of 3rd and State, being sure in her own mind that her reality is true.

The trouble with Samantha is just that though; she lives in her own reality. After finishing up the usual tuna on white and carefully wiping the corners of her mouth as not to smear the edges of her lipstick, she puts the garbage of plastic bags and a fruit cup back into the brown paper sack, stands up straight, adjusts and smoothes her skirt, then starts the two block trek back to the office. The entire journey from the park to the 21st floor has Samantha’s mind churning with the images of the day… the two boy scouts selling popcorn at the entrance to Starbucks, the mother with four babies and two strollers, one in each hand, along with a face that hadn’t seen sleep in months, that tall, dark, and handsome man in the collared white shirt with a loose tie hanging around his neck and top button undone, walking with a sense of masculinity and authority that unveiled a romantic ambience with each step. While catching a hint of his late morning aftershave making its last appearance before dissolving to just another city smell, she could have sworn she heard church wedding bells in the not so far distance. She hoped to see him again.

The elevator doors jerks open as the light above the door beams 21, and Samantha, still wearing her blinders of thought, exits, oblivious to any activity or life presence around her. She even fails to notice Jimmy, who’s young, quick witted humor and diligent work had won him an assistant manager position at a company-record young age, trying to spark conversation with a compliment about her new, just below the shoulder hairstyle. Everything is always a spark with Samantha; too busy imagining her life, or living others, to find any sort of flame.

The thing about Samantha is just that… she’s Samantha. Her looks and quiet personality send much interest and curiosity through the minds of the select, single, male coworkers who are fortunate enough to make the occasional run in with her. However, to little or no avail, progress is never made. To most it is little loss, thinking of it not as being ‘shot-down’ but as just not being ‘noticed’. However, Jimmy isn’t like most, his determination that lands promotions, works with all facets of his life.

I met Jimmy for the first time last week, he came to the squirrel park and surprised Samantha with a vanilla ice cream cone, from a vendor just down State I believe. Unfortunately, there were just a few too many swirls stacked high on his own cone, which soon toppled over on his shoe after one lick. Fortunately for him, however, this in turn brought a few giggles from Samantha who had stopped watching an elderly couple sitting a little ways down the path, just in time to see, and avoid, the splatter. They chatted for a little while, Samantha pointing out various people passing by, but soon, with her mind full of the lunchtime sights, instead of the surprise ice cream man, headed back towards the office.

After a lazy, lackluster, afternoon, the clock strikes five and Samantha picks up to go home. She catches the train and is at home with shoes off in under a half-an-hour. There, she sits with Dillon, eating leftovers, and watching sitcoms instead of the news.

It has been a while since Samantha has come around to keep me company. Sure, I still know what’s going on in her life, but I miss seeing her eyes. A few weeks (actually two and three days to be precise) after that day Jimmy toppled his ice cream cone over, Samantha stopped her lunchtime escapade. She isn’t infatuated with him like he is her; she is now just busier at work. I know, that right now, she is wishing she were here, in the park, by the fountain, under the tree that is blooming beautiful new blossoms, with the squirrels… with me… watching people, as I do. But alone, I sit, on a bench, at the corner of 3rd and State.

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