The stranger sees us as we are, not as he wishes to think we are.

If you saw me on the street, would you know that I’m OCD about chipped nail polish?

If you stood in line behind me at the coffee shop as we both waited to get our caffeine fix, would you know that I have a chronic burn on my tongue because I’m impatient when it comes to drinking coffee?

If you sat next to me in class, would you know that I refuse to leave any ragged edges on my paper when I rip it out of my notebook?

If you held your hand out to stop the elevator, would you know that I actually enjoyed elevator music?

If you glimpsed my shadow cowered behind the shelves in the library, would you know that I collect old books — not for the value, but simply for their covers and their smell?

If you parked your car right next to mine, would you know that I got a flat tire on the curb of my high school parking lot the very first time I tried to drive?

Even if you did know all of these things, how would you know those things don’t change? How would you anticipate that they do? I’m flighty as the wind but steady as a flame. One is stronger with the other. Would a stranger see all these things about me?

And the real question is: would I want them to?

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