Staring is Caring…

What has become of friendship—of human contact and relations?

We’ve been talking too much. Forgetting that for each limb there is a lyric. Our very anatomy in and of itself, a symphonic composite of emotion. When we listen with our bodies, we can begin to hear each other’s songs. Take for example eye contact…

…I feel it being wrapped around my body on most nights I go out to “the club”. Eyes are often strung around my hips. Men tend to stare songs that are less Mother Mary of Jesus and more Lil’ John. This may explain why, by the time you walk up to speak, I already know what is about to be said. No need to ask me my name, the low-cut brow already asked for sex. I’ve been listening to your body language longer than you’ve been trying to figure out my Victoria’s Secret. That was a predictable reference, but either way, I’m going to need you to catch up.

If eyes are windows to the soul, the contact made is a peephole into intention. Which probably explains why I steer away from staring too long at my crushes. Especially when the conversation is good. Tell me something smart sounding, and I’m off into the future imagining what our child would look like. I need condoms for eyelids.

I divert my gaze from panhandlers. Instead of kindly nodding to them, I either look straight ahead, or spontaneously begin cleaning the backseat of my car; setting a personal goal of eliminating all waste before the light turns green. My heart twists a little every time my eyes meet those in need of change. Perhaps it is due to their blues that I know is knocking on my window but am too timid to acknowledge. Because I know that once I look and listen, I will feel obligated to find a displaced coin and hand it off hoping that the jukebox I see in their eyes will play a song that I like. Selfish, but sometimes I just am not in the mood for blues and would like a bit of change in song for myself.

Have you ever sat and stared in silence at someone you love…while your clothes were on?

I have. And I was very uncomfortable.

I cried. Not in a Brown Sugar finale type of way.

Every time I intentionally stared at someone for longer than two minutes,  I was either at a workshop or conference peering into the eyes of someone I just met. I have yet to practice this with someone I know and love.


Words have a way of constructing walls. Without them, we have no defenses, which is why I often times feel attacked when someone stares at me for too long without saying something. It surprises me how little I have sat and allowed someone to look at me and let them hear what they may of my eyes. I had a therapist who tried. Haven’t gone back to see her since. At the time, my relationship with eye contact had been perverse. Staring was either a contest or invasion. And for either case, I was not taught to let the other person win. When words no longer become pillars, eye contact becomes a prominent muscle.

Funny how simply looking deeper into one another without a disclaimer can weaken the signal between humans causing us to loose connection.



2 thoughts on “Staring is Caring…

  1. This was a great post Talia Taylor. You are a gifted word smith. I too suffered from the same issue with eye contact, I am slowly learning to cautiously allow peering eyes to come in.

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