I often overlook the little things, forget the impact of them, how they compose this great big lovely whole that I inhabit. It's nice to be reminded once in a while to look at them differently, with a bit more weight.
At N/A's show this weekend I was reminded. In the hustle and bustle of the bar, I borrowed $4 off of him for the cover-charge. Realizing I only needed $3, I breezed back over to him and handed him $1 back, muttering something not even worth noting about the change. A fleeting exchange, but right after, I noticed someone I'd been friends with a handful of years ago (and had a falling out with) standing just a few feet away. He was watching us with obvious surprise--both as an acquaintance of N/A (one that is presumably unaware of the fact that we are dating) and as an ex-friend of mine. I could see the wheels turning in his head.
His presence suddenly made this simple exchange--me leaning in towards N/A, handing him $1, shouting something close to his ear so he could hear me--EXTRAORDINAIRILY intimate, as though I had warmly tipped my lips to his or touched the small of his back with my fingertips. I thought about what it must seem like to this third party, who at that point probably didn't even know that N/A and I even KNOW each other, and realized how bountiful and weighty such a slight moment could be to someone else. How you could read history in it. How something so little could really be so powerful.
The rest of the night, N/A was flitting about, watching the acts and talking to friends, while I chilled out on the sideline. Occasionally I would catch this fellow glimpsing over at me or us, and I could tell he was trying fiendishly to pick up on what that small exchange had meant.
The point is: the text is the text, unchanging. But how we read it can be amazingly different from person to person. And sometimes it is good to have someone there to tip your perspective on its head. Sometimes it's good to be reminded that--really--this tiny exchange IS buoyed with a great weight and a developing history that perhaps we haven't been reading closely enough.