I worked at a fabulous Pilates place. And at the end of the day I would have to make a list of all the people who would be attending classes the next morning. Then I would draw out their individual files, with practitioner comments, and place them in a little pile.
Now I didn't work there very often, so I only really knew the people who came on Saturdays, unlike my fellow receptionists who knew everyone. But I also thought I knew the people who came on Mondays. Because I would see their names each shift. I knew their handwriting from where they'd filled in the forms and occasionally I would talk to them on the phone.
And I was thinking just how weird that is. I really felt like I knew these people, that I'd met them. I had made firm judgments about them. When my colleagues would mention one of them I would nod sagely, "Ah yes of course John Doe. What a crazy individual he is!" But when I sat in the quiet of the reception and really thought about it. . . well of course I didn't know them at all. I had no idea what they looked like, only knew what a few of them sounded like. . . and quite likely would never know them.
How weird is that?
Oh hey look, a poem!
TO THE PEOPLE I WILL NEVER KNOW
To the people I will never know:
Who live along down on my street
or in homes passed on my walk,
or at plays where we didn't meet.
Or sat on the tube in my seat
With a paper left in their spot
or the one who's manicured feet
tried the same shoes that I bought.
To you all, I wish you the best
that all of your dreams will come true
that you live your life full everyday,
and take pride in whatever you do.
That you're happy most of the time,
and not frightened to sometimes feel sad,
and when wrong admit that you were,
and say sorry whenever you're bad.
I hope that you take the odd risk
and sometimes forget to think twice.
I hope too that you do think ahead
and above all try to be 'nice'.
Yes, you people I'll never know,
and who'll never in turn know me
I hope that at times you too think
of those who you'll never see.
Cause then we'll each of us know,
that we're never quite that alone,
we're deep in the thoughts of another
wondering too who they've never known.