I think if I were to die tomorrow many people would remember my smile. I’m not being morbid and am definitely not depressed the fact is we all have to go sometime. Besides, who else has death on the mind except perhaps morticians, serial killers, and novelists ?

I digress.

I was standing in front of a skyscraper just staring up towards the heavens wondering how tall the building was. I had just seen it the day before on my walking expedition – towering over the city like a guardian. I felt someone approaching so I turned to see who it was. A stranger – I looked into her kind eyes and as she didn’t look away, I smiled.

She smiled back. What a lovely surprise! But then she asked me about a bus and I was sorry that I didn’t have any information to offer. I explained that I didn’t know the city or the bus routes but told her the people that lined the retaining walls did. (I had seen many of them wait on a daily basis). Perhaps she could ask one of the wallflowers?

She was hesitant but divulged that she dare not ask them, I was the only person she felt that looked friendly.

Wow. What an awesome compliment!

I looked around and sure enough there they were waiting for the bus. Some listening to music, some reading the newspaper, and some simply standing observing. I tried to catch each one of them by looking into their eyes to offer a smile, but they either diverted their eyes when we connected or wouldn’t allow the eye connection. The lady was right, they didn’t appear friendly.

I have to think back to the sessions that I sat through that asked the questions: Am I relatable? Am I approachable? Am I genuine? – and can my characters be the same?

What is worse than trying to relate to someone that has that used car salesman kindof smile? It becomes difficult to extend that trust blindly for something even as simple as directions or validation of a bus route.

I think that as a new author, I will continue to try and make connections even one at a time. It is important to me as an individual that I remain approachable and genuine. As such I always keep a smile on my face, because life seems to be much more difficult without it.

Next time you are walking about I challenge you to make that eye connection and offer a smile. You’ll be surprised at how many you get back.

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