If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Thursday 24 January 2013
Read gnomica 1-250 here!
I’m totally fascinated by people.
Nikki Giovanni (7 Jun 1943 – )
I can buy that.
People are fascinating. Giovanni – a famous American poet — is absolutely right.
But in many ways, in many different ways attractive as well as off-putting.
People’s external physiognomy as well as the interior terrain.
Especially when you are walking around downtown, sitting in a coffee house, out traveling and waiting in airports – like O’Hare. I’ve been known to snap the odd photo with a small camera if I see someone who looks particularly interesting in some way – unbelievably ugly, blindingly beautiful. It would be challenging to paint that face – oils, acrylics, watercolor? Her ethnicity is some kind of mix – a bit of black, probably, definitely a lot of Asian, perhaps some northern European. Tough to get the skin tones just right, but possible, and rather tricky: burnt sienna, a strong orange, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson mixed with ultramarine blue … yes, I could pull that one off.
Each type is a curiosity in her own right. Part of the fascination is to speculate without restraint about that person’s daily life – children, married, livelihood? kind, giving, generous? cat person or dog person? what kind of car(s) does she drive? where did she go to school – did she go to college? studied what? how old? where does she buy clothes – they look more Elle than Allure!
Where is she going? First class or coach? Why is she flying today? Business, romance, family? Does she live in Chicago or is she heading home? Where is that? Will someone be waiting for her? Who? Is she looking forward to seeing him again? Dreading it? Wishing she could just get on some other flight and head for Singapore? or Jakarta?
What does she do when she isn’t traveling? not working? How does she relax? Does she like doing restaurants? movies? plays? concerts? What is her best idea of having just a good time? Is she one of the ‘complicated’ ones? or easy-going, accommodating, not demanding constantly to be entertained? Does she see life as a series of histrionic set-pieces in which she stars? never is the understudy?
Did she have a good relationship with her father? How did he treat her as she was growing up? Do they still have a relationship? One that is fraught, tense, anxious? Or are they relaxed with each other, do they genuinely enjoy the company of the other?
Is she a reader? Just of uptown magazines like that Economist poking up its red top out of her large tote bag, or that scrunched Wall Street Journal on the chair next to her? Or books? History, current affairs, fiction? Romances, detective stories, cerebral poetry? I wonder if she keeps some kind of diary of daily thoughts? Does she blog? About what?
I ask myself: does she write good English? Hell, is English even her native language, and if not, what is? But she can write English, right? It would be interesting to read something she’s written, anything. Just to get some sense of how her mind works.
If she’s Asian, I always want to know … Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese … maybe from Burma? Sometimes you can tell – maybe. What would it feel like to run my hand through that thick black hair?
The PA system comes alive with some anticipatory crackling …
“All passengers with seating in rows one through six may now board flight nine-two-five at gate eight E for …”