By Art alone we are able to get outside ourselves, to know what another sees of this universe which for him is not ours, the landscapes of which would remain as unknown to us as those of the moon.
In Norwegian, you don’t refer to your romantic partner as a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. You say “kjæreste”, which is gender neutral and literally translates to “the dearest”.
I saw someone I sometimes see on the bus the other day, he’s an older man who sits near the front and clutches at a little shopping trolley with his weathered hands. He always dresses with interesting colours and textures. When I last saw him he was wearing a big furry camel coat, with a little silk scarf tucked in. He was reading a tattered old Sci Fi novel with a elaborate illustrated cover. He kept smiling to himself while reading, and when I saw this I felt such a rush of affection for him. I wanted to talk to him, and know that he was okay.
This morning on the bus it was very crowded, I was sandwiched next too a young-ish man who was doing a French quiz on his phone. He had to translate simple phrases. He was stumped on one, I understood it. It said “Do you have a map? Because I’m getting lost in your eyes”. For a moment I considered tapping him on the shoulder and saying that line just to provoke some kind of reaction, but before I could even anticipate the consequences it clicked for him. He smiled and shook his head at the sheer cheesiness and rapidly started typing. He still got the phrase wrong. “I don’t have a map. I’m lost in your eyes”.
And this evening, a girl with long red hair that she kept peeking out of, she held a red book kept staring a people’s hands and I could tell she was intently listening to two office colleagues discuss dogs on the seats across from her. It was nice to see someone else observing. We made eye contact briefly.