The Likeness of People

If you live in Canmore, there’s a pretty good chance I know more about you than you would think. Ya, that’s creepy, and it has nothing to do with being an I.T. guy. Most of me has nothing to do with technology at all.

Yesterday at the paint store there was a guy approaching our truck while we were inside the store. Maggie had her big white head leaning on the window sill and Dublin was laying across her. The guy wanted to pet the dogs, but if you know Maggie at all you know that sure as shit a stranger isn’t going to touch her while she’s in the truck. She makes it perfectly clear. They guy backed off, returned to his truck and drove away.

He’s a painter and he’s French Canadian. His girlfriend’s name is Jess and she used to work at The Wood. They own a Bernese Mountain dog. Tricia looked at me with wonder. She knows I see people – not just the dead ones – and knows I’ve got this uncanny perception, and if you have a dog you’re even more on the radar.

I learn more about people through piecing bits of them together than through conversation. I pick from stories and relationships, and stories of stories. I gather the stones of the lives of others. I watch them smiling absentmindedly when they throw sticks for their dogs. I see them in the grocery store calculating a price or recalling a recipe, in the cafes typing on a laptop with a furrow on the brow. I see them running, riding, driving through town, talking on the phone, passing through life.

There’s only a small space between all of us. We don’t watch through windows. We have way more connection than that.

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