I've never thought of myself as superfical, at least not so much more than the average human animal. When I walk down the street, my mind always plays at the notions of what depths the surrounding strangers contain.
Last week, my neighbor asked what was wrong. I was simply walking home from the pharmacy. He knew that something was wrong because of the way I was walking. I hadn't even noticed a hitch in my step.
"Skiing accident?" he asked. I laughed so hard. "Something like that" I said. Here he was, trusting his eyes, judging by appearances and had NO idea that I was limping along with fistulas and draining abscesses.
Today, as I was walking down the street I couldn't play my usual game of creating lives for the fleeting faces in trams or the strolling strangers. No guesses at families, happiness, loves of hand-knit sweaters. All I could do was imagine callouses on a beautiful woman in expensive shoes. Diaper rash on an adorable baby. Hemorrhoids on the hairdresser in the salon.
No one knows my medical history when they see me walking down the street. I apparently resemble a skiier. (ha! I snowboard when not healing from surgery)
Yesterday I visited my old Kindergarten , I was teaching for a year and a half until December. I came for a visit and came bearing Easter chocolate and sang "little bunny foo foo". The whole time I was there, I had one or two children wrapped around one or both of my legs. I visited during circle time and said that I would love to hear any stories that they had for me, or answer any questions that they had for me.
Guess how many questions they asked? none. I heard about Christmas and Hanukkah, who lost a tooth, what they built, what number they can write.
When I was their teacher, these little guys who would remove my glasses the three times that I wore them when hungover, because they were unusual to them. The rugrats who would surreptitiously change stroke my hair so that it was parted on the "normal" side, should I ever dare to switch it, these gorgeous, healthy balls of energy looked at me and saw me. Not Chron's or sick or fistulas, just me.