He was a hush. A soft, soft whisper, hanging still within the obscure vapors of the peoples’ sweat, pipes, and perfumes.
He was a sapphire insect waiting, waiting quiet, to descend from the mighty bosom of the night and fly throughout the ebbing illumination of the murky, stuffed bar. Detached silhouettes moved like ghouls across the walls, moved like creatures.
The man sat, a long duffle coat of raven black fastened about him. A right steal-toed foot rested upon his knee. His form seemed to evade the light, as he merged with the casting shadows, becoming one with the darkness. A mysterious figure, deep yet vague, with the look of a Lothario; he sucked his cigarette, inhaling the infectious fumes, then released them slowly, to creep from his lush lips. The supple, delicious poison was his preferred taste, and with the poise of a dragon the smoke seeped from his flared nostrils, lifting free the pale toxins into the room, to merge with the soup. His elbow he had propped upon the little round table, the silver halo of smolder about his head; the man scanned his surroundings, his eyes that cold, dense cobalt blue. Within his gaze was a flicker, a majestic glow that lit his fair face. And it was fair; most womanly, and sharp, like an aged eagle; a sliver of grey hair swooped through his curly, nut-brown tresses.
The pub rumbled, cackled lively on occasion, and glasses clinked and men laughed and brave women crowed. But he, he was a silent one. A watcher. A philosopher. A collector of sorts. He needn’t bother with trivialities like pleasure, thrill seeking, or attention whoring. A pitcher of tap water sat there on his small table, and a plain cup rested close, half drunk, but hardly noticed. For this man never entered the bar, or any establishment for that matter, for their wares. No, it was people he came to feast upon. How they talked, how they swayed, how they laid themselves before one another, hungry for connection.
Observers are everywhere, but we never know them, because they are just that—observers.
This man was no different, as not a soul knew of his existence. He came, night after night, but none knew him, or recognized him for even a spot. His gloved hands had touched thankingly the waitress countless times, his mouth had said, “Good day.” to several patrons on numerous occurrences, and to the bartender he always passed a greeting glance, yet never, never were these things remembered. For he watched. He listened. He knew things but allowed nothing to come of these knowings.
That night was no different. And no night after would be different either. Except, of course, that night was different, for an observer knows an observer as a thief knows a thief.
I sat, with sleepy appearance, and the ambiance of a dark doorway. Just two tables left of the man. Just two infinitesimal moments from sight. But a centimeter makes all the difference from uncovered to hidden. He didn’t see me that night, but I saw him. It was quite the treat. I salivated thickly.
You don’t know me, nor should you, but I am always here, as he is always there. Each watching, and watching. It is likely that both of us know you.
But not to worry. For observing is all we do, and indeed, all we care to do. Just to watch, just to see, just to listen. It’s a calling. A gift. It might be an obsession. It might be deadly. It might be powerful but ‘might’ is far away and not of concern. Not now, and not ever.
For there’s this woman across the way. She has legs that resemble Roman columns and gold hair that cascades down like a lion’s mane. She’s drinking champagne. She laughs in a way that seems fake, and now I am most intrigued. What is she hiding? What is beneath? What is the story of that faint scar above her heavy, Arabian brow? Her veins are very clear, especially in her hands; on her wrists she carries a purple hue.
I must confess. Watching is only a fragment of what observers do.