People Watching by Abigail Herbst

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It’s a busy afternoon at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Although the weather outside is cold and dreary, the environment inside buzzes with activity, with waves of travelers making their way to their destinations.

Carl walks briskly down the moving sidewalk in the middle of the wide and airy walkway. With his black winter coat in one hand and maroon suitcase in the other, he makes his way towards his gate. Carl is a fair skinned, graying man in his late 40s, possibly early 50s. Carl is not from Cleveland,¬† he’s only passing through on business, his final destination is Boston. You would never guess it from looking at him, but Carl came from a difficult upbringing. He struggled financially his whole life, his biggest struggle was funding his college education. That was until he made some wise investments in the stock market and now lives a comfortable debt free life with his wife and two kids.

He brushes past passes Maggie, a beautiful young woman in her late 20s. By her sparkling jewelry and expensive looking clothing, it is evident just by looking at her she comes from a long line of wealth. Today was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, her wedding day. At least it was until she discovered her then fiancé only wanted to marry her for money and surplus of wealthy contacts and connections. After publicly humiliating him and leaving him at the alter, she proceeded to attend their honeymoon with her best friend and maid of honor, who waited waited for her at the gate.

There is a one and a million- probably billion- chance that the backstory of these two people I observed walk by each other at the airport this past weekend is true. People watching, observing my surroundings and creating a backstory to those passing by is one of my favorite pass times in busy areas. Maybe Carl is really who my imagination created him to be, or maybe he’s Joe from Chicago or David from Australia. There is no way of knowing, and there is an infinite number of personas to create of the people passing by.

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