They’re everywhere. You know they are. It’s not always clear what they’re looking at, but there are always some eyes on you, whether they’re just appraising stares, adoring gazes, or mocking leers. That’s just what comes with living in an area where you run into the same people over and over again.
Eyes are the windows to the soul. All that is unspoken can be seen through the eyes.
“Get a load of that,” say some. “Who let something like her in here?”
Other eyes are sometimes kinder. “Wow, that’s pretty cool. I want to talk to her more.”
“I feel sorry for her. Why do people have to be so shallow?” A couple of them don’t realize that pity rarely goes unnoticed.
Many are blank, just meaningless contact between two souls unaware of the other’s presence.
* * *
Sometimes, having eyes on you feels like a good thing. You feel validated by the gazes that attentively follow your movements, making your confidence soar. Nothing is impossible with those eyes on you; heck, you could embarrass yourself on stage as long as the laughs coming from the crowd were followed by supportive eyes, warm eyes that reflected how funny they thought you were, how clever the things you said were.
Other times, you wish the ground would swallow you up under your feet because you’ve twisted your ankle on the same part of the road to Val that you had sprained that same ankle on the week before. Any motions to help seem like acts of pity, maybe even coddling, as though you had never wrapped your own ankle before. Some look on in amusement, with silent jeers crowding your own thoughts out of your mind. More stare at you impassively, wondering just how you had bypassed evolution to exist today.
Perhaps the oddest, though, are the ones that look at you with minimal intention and no communication whatsoever, except maybe for the fact that you are not the subject of their interest. These eyes seem to observe everything and notice nothing, to emptily take in everything around them only for their brains to expel all of it again, like a sponge. These eyes make you wonder what it would take for these people to actually see something, to focus their attention for more than a millisecond at a time. So far, you have no answers.
Perhaps our eyes could mean the difference between a scared girl conquering her overwhelming social inhibition and succumbing to it. Perhaps these exchanges between eyes, between souls, always have the chance of meaning more than the casual glance. Perhaps our eye contact, our unspoken communications, mean much more than meets the eye.
There are times when we need to pay more attention to our own eyes, rather than obsessing over how others view us. What good is a friendly gaze if you cannot reciprocate? How little power would a glare have if you can validate yourself with your own eyes, through your own stares and expressions? What does it say about us if we cannot look ourselves in the eye, through the mirror? Only paying close attention to our own eyes will answer that.
(Photo courtesy of Saskia)