I was out early, exploring the city with my family in the summer of 2006, when we spotted this serious man preparing for a day of work.
The colorful checks, stripes and diamonds of his clothing were the perfect accent on the mosaic bench.
He concentrated on his make up while traffic on the busy Passeig de Gracia roared by him.
The Better Photo
I had been focused on the clown. It was a curious thing to watch...this man studying his mirror, applying shiny colors to his face...so oblivious to the city rushing by. But it was my son, Scott who alerted me to the bigger picture. He quietly moved me to the side where I could see the man who sat behind the clown. The men seemed so similar, bent over paper and mirror. They both blocked out the world, before a day of work. Their bodies were almost like statues, beside the busy street cleaner...motorbike and bus. No one seemed to take notice, except us. Well maybe the couple, embracing across the street. You can barely see them, peering through the decorative iron on the bench.
An Hour Later
We headed back towards the same intersection. Shops and businesses..more traffic now. We spotted the clown, posed like a statue on a box. Layers of colors and patterns now covered his white undershirt. He held a wobbly umbrella over his head. His clunky shoes turned outward, each with a mysterious eyeball!
He didn't speak or move, but held his mouth in a cheery smile, which we hadn't seen earlier.
I gestured with my camera and put money in his tip container. I stepped back and smiled before lifting the camera. When my camera clicked, his nose blinked like Rudolph's!
Thanks Dear Clown! We never spoke. I watched you on the bench and on the sidewalk. I can only guess about the rest of your life. I had less interaction with you than most strangers on my list, but you are an easy one to remember!
To celebrate my birthday in April 2012, I decided to reflect on the past with a different kind of list. I've met a lot of people in my 55 years, but I'm going to stop and remind myself about the strangers I've met. These are people I met by accident, not through friends or work. For some reason, these strangers dropped into my life. Even though we may have only spent a few minutes together, these people have never been forgotten.
Each week, I'll spotlight someone I met in the past, who in some small way, made me stop and think.
Remember 55 Strangers