Do you ever look at someone and marvel that they are just as real to themselves as you are to yourself? Sometimes that thought startles me; perhaps I subconsciously believe that I am the only real person in the world, or at least the only person with real thoughts and desires.
But sometimes I look at someone and realize that to them, they are “me” just like I am “me” to myself.
Sometimes, I wonder about their past. What happened that the shriveled lady in the worn burqa sits on the same corner to beg day after day? Why does that man call out inappropriate comments to women as they walk by? Why does this well-dressed father spend more time in cafés and on the street than at home with his family?
Often, people are merely splotches strewn upon the canvas of my momentary perception of life. Other times, I realize that the Artist painted them there for a reason. Those are the times that I look around, aghast: Who are these people really?