I was at a beautiful concert last night. So beautiful that my mind was running wild with ideas and concepts. I sometimes would feel bad for not paying so much attention to the actual music, but I am sure Bach would understand. The first time I saw down I had a couple in front of me. The girl was touching her boyfriends back in a tender manner but he was not responding at all. I could see her growing mad by her fast neurotic movements that she started to perform, and frequent eye contact - which she hoped would reach the eyes of the other, not aiming towards infinity with no possibility of return. Her hand movements were nice and slow. I did not like her nail polish or her nails for that matter nor her hands, but I liked how she touched him. Her touch had a comforting tone to it - her thumb was moving up and down in a repetitive manner, while the other fingers were supporting her presence on her boyfriends back. As if she was comforting him for something. I liked this image. It made me thing how much intimacy is concealed when a couple is out in a public event. Only hands, eyes or feet can perform some intimate action.
She grew angry and picked up her phone. Her boyfriend did not notice the absence of her hand on him, since he did not even move a hair - he was either immersed in the music, or in his phone because he was so static in his stance and absorbed in his mind. Then, a weird feeling of familiarity overcame me: she started scrolling, looking at photos, maneuvering on her iPhone and I could relate with her hand movement so much as if they were my own: both of our hands and fingers trained identically the same way to operate this machine. I felt a weird sense of connection with the entire world through her: we all grow bored from an app and we swipe away from it in the same tempo (a revolt of sorts), or we all are hypnotized by instagram and we zoom in on photos of people to see their features or smth like that. She had a thing with her hair - like to touch them fast but often. Occasionally she would give a glance to her boyfriend with the hope that his eyes would shine a light on her too, but I think she did not have any success in this department right now. He was gone somewhere to a far-off land or I don't know where, but he seemed gone. And then, I started to obsess with this dude; not romantically or sexually - I obsessed conceptually. He was directly in front of me. If I would do something stupid, he would be the first one to suffer from my clumsiness because we were so close - separated by the length of an arm. Yet, I did not see his face at all. The only reference I had of him as to what he is engaged in, was through his girlfriend. My obsession depended as I started to count his hair on his neck - he probably does not even know how much hair he has back there but I do - this made me feel strange, a stalker but I was so deep in my conceptual curiosity I did not care what others might think if I tell them this story. I thought of sending an anonymous email saying: 'hey, you have 13 hair on the left side of your neck, and 18 on the right'. But, I am sure he would not understand and besides, understanding is not the point here. The point is the experience and since he could not experience my experience, I decided not to contact him ever. I started thinking about his testosterone level because I think more hair means more testosterone. Then I decided to guess the estrogen or testosterone levels of the entire room but it was too demanding a task I decided to re navigate my focus to the stranger in front of me.
I started thinking of exercises one can perform on stage just by grabbing some strangers and arranging them to sit like in a bus and stay like that for 30 minutes. What thoughts would go through the mind of the person observing the human in front of him? would they envision or imagine what life this person leads? is he happy? is he married? what chronic frustration visits him from time to time? or, would people project their own fears and frustrations on the other? I don't know, but I am curious one day to find out.
I wanted to write down this concept in my phone so that I will not forget, or so that another idea would not interfere with me remembering this one, but it felt so weird to pick up my phone in that concert. Then I decided that even when I go to concerts, I will keep a notebook with me. For some reason, taking out a notebook in the middle of a classical music concert seemed more acceptable to me than taking out my phone.
The music stoped, the performer said he needed a break and we were instructed to go out and take a drink. Me and my boyfriend took some glasses of wine and returned to our original places. My stranger was not there anymore and I feared that he left, but then I felt a sense of relief because the trip from my seat to take the wine and come back somehow made me grow distant from my weird obsession, in the sense that I saw how weird it was in the first place. I was talking with my boyfriend about the power of music and how it transports us to weird mental places. He did not fully agree because he was a musician and he was analyzing the forms and everything that music requires you to analyze. Then I saw a face. A face that I thought was seated in a few seats to the right or then my second that was how strange people come to the concert in the middle of it. But then something unexpected and slightly shocking happened. That face turned its back on me and sat right in front of me. I was shocked. The thing that was in front of me, was the head with 13 hair on the left side of the neck and 18 on the right and I knew this face so well. I had grown accustomed to it as if it was a face. But his face I have never seen before, and seeing it now ruined the spell of the stranger: he was not a stranger anymore, I saw his face, he has been exposed, I know his eye color, I know what eye color his girlfriend was neurotically looking at earlier. The spell was lost. I started to think of other things and forgot that stranger that was no longer a stranger.