There is always something hidden there: the owner of a firm who has still to close the deal he has always dreamed of, the housewife who would like to have more independence or more money, the new graduate who wonders whether he has chosen his career or has had it chosen for him, the dentist who wanted to be a singer, the singer who wanted to be a politician, the politician who wanted to be a writer, and the writer who wanted to be a peasant.
In this street where I am sit writing this post and looking at the people passing by, I bet that everyone is feeling the same thing. That elegant woman who has just walked by spends her days trying to stop time, controlling the bathroom scales, because she thinks love depends on that.
On the other side of the street I see a couple with two children. They live moments of intense happiness when they go out with their kids, but at the same time their subconscious is busy thinking about the job they might not get, the tragedies that might occur, how to get over them, how to protect themselves from the world.
I leaf through magazines filled with famous people: everybody laughing, everybody very happy.
But since this is a segment of society that I am quite familiar with, I know it is not like that: everyone is laughing or enjoying themselves at the moment that photo is taken, but at night, or in the morning, the story is always quite different. “What can I do to keep on appearing in the magazine?”, “how can I disguise not having enough money to afford all this luxury?” or “how can I manage this life of splendor to make it even more luxurious, more expressive than other people’s?”, “the actress whom I am seen with in this photo, laughing and having a great time, she could steal my part tomorrow!”, or “I wonder if my clothes are nicer than hers. Why do we smile so much if we loathe one another?”
There is always something hidden there, but Jorge Luis Borges has the final word:
“I will not be happy, but that doesn’t matter, / there are many other things in this world”.