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What I’ve Noticed About Not Noticing

Life gets hectic sometimes.ice cream

Today, much of my afternoon was devoted to my research paper on the Iranian-Saudi Arabian proxy war in Yemen. After a few hours of reading and writing, my brain decided to go on strike. I grabbed my journal and wallet and drove about 10 minutes to Mixed-Up Cup, a small frozen yogurt/ice-cream/health-food joint (yeah, I think it’s an odd combination too) to eat dinner and refocus my thoughts.

I had several reasons for my mini-excursion.

  1. This afternoon alone, Mixed-Up Cup was donating a percentage of revenue from each order to Southern’s Communications Club. While I am technically a member of the Communications club, I am embarrassingly uninvolved in their events or fundraising activities. I figured this purchase would be a small way to redeem myself.
  2. More importantly, Mixed-Up Cup offers free coffee to customers.
  3. Most importantly, I needed a brief getaway.

avocado toastAfter I ordered ridiculously expensive avocado toast, I sat in the small shop and looked out the window. I noticed two boys playing baseball on the lawn outside. I noticed a little girl with white leggings and small cowgirl boots crying in the parking lot.

I turned around and observed customers filling their cups with frozen yogurt. One young, college-aged couple got so distracted hugging and kissing in the middle of the room they momentarily forgot about their ice-cream. Another couple, likely in their late twenties, sat on a bench directly in front of the storefront window. The man was wearing a shirt that said, “The catnip made me do it.” When he sat down, his pants slid half-way down his rear, revealing a substantial portion of his underwear to the world beyond the window.

I noticed the only visible employee, a young woman in her late teens/early twenties, running back and forth between the cash register and the open kitchen where she was preparing my avocado toast. I noticed the Chinese tattoo on her wrist.

I noticed that my coffee was getting cold.coffee cup

I noticed a well-dressed man with hiking boots and a kind face order frozen yogurt, smile at me, then leave.

As I ate my avocado toast, I noticed a little blonde-headed boy with huge, vibrant eyes, probably four or five years old, peek his head over a half-wall partition and stare at me with a huge grin.

I smiled back and asked him his name.

“My name is Ashton,” he said. “But I don’t live here.” He added, as if I was wondering.

“Oh, you don’t? Do you wish you lived here?” I asked, figuring the boy would say yes. Who wouldn’t want to live in an ice-cream shop?

“No!” he answered, as if I had asked a stupid question. “I wish I lived in the clouds!”

I asked Ashton how old he was. He didn’t answer, but rather ducked behind the wall and ran away.clouds

I noticed I was noticing a lot. I hadn’t touched the journal in my purse. I hadn’t touched my phone. I thought to myself how unfortunate it is that I don’t watch people more often; how unfortunate it is that I am so busy I forget to notice the small details that make people and life so unique; how unfortunate it is that my days are so consumed with news, school, work, and stress that I forget the value of human life; and how unfortunate it is that I don’t live in the clouds.

 

 

6 thoughts on “What I’ve Noticed About Not Noticing

  1. Kristi,
    Loved it. So very true of all of us. We go through life barely paying attention to all that is around us. You are a very talented writer so keep it up.
    Love, Nana

  2. I suspect that the advent of the smart phone has done more than anything in the history of mankind to distract us from the world right in front of us and, sadly, from the people in our midst.

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