12 April 2016 8:31 PM (life)
I have discovered that I can focus strongly on my environment if I imagine someone there with me who isn't from the universe. Occasionally this leads to very strange internal disagreements, often involving math. Mostly, it leads me to focus on the environment, to really appreciate what I'm looking at, notice the exact color of the sky and the pattern clouds running through it, the state of the leaves, the kind of thing I'd normally just overlook while daydreaming or listening to something. It also tends to give me a tremendous sense of well-being. I usually do it on the bus, going to or from work.
I was riding on the bus when a man came in with a big, big beard. He smelled like he had barely escaped with his life from a fire in a tobacco warehouse. He sat down next to a woman (I couldn't really see the details because I'm not good at looking at things) and said, “Is that a sunflower? On your neck?” And she said it was. It was a tattoo. And the two of them immediately started pulling their shirts up and hiking their pant legs up to show off their body art to each other.
The man admired how skillfully done the woman's tattoos were, and lamented that his were all black and white because he couldn't find anyone he thought would do color well. The woman pointed out all the political symbols he had tattooed on himself like "Nomad Nation" and a sign for "Traveller's Rights" (I'd never known either thing existed before) and then they got into a long conversation about squatting, hitch-hiking, various meetings and groups that are happy to give someone who shows up a ride in whatever direction they're going.
Then my stop came. But it was wonderful.