In the last, say, couple of months, I have noticed people catching my eye and smiling as we pass each other on the streets of my 'hood. This rather unsettling phenomenon takes place only on my home turf, never in midtown. And I have to say, it Creeps. Me. Out. Bigtime.
This isn't Hayseedville, Redstate, USA. This is New freakin' YORK! We do not look at our fellow citizens, we do not make eye contact as we peripheral-visionally give approaching strangers the Manhattan Once-over (Is she crazy? Will he mug me? Do they have guns?) and we CERTAINLY do not SMILE.
I know none of these people. None of them know me. Okay, it's only been a few, maybe a dozen, twenty at the outside, over the course of numerous weeks. But STILL. It's gotten to the point where I'm wondering if I forgot my trousers, or if my shirt is open, or if I have finally arrived at that special place where I am publicly perceived by strangers as a dotty old lady, and not in a good way either.
Or, I could just be going nuts. Always a possibility. But I don't think so. No, something strange and worrisome is going on here, and by God I'm going to find out what it is. And I am not smiling as I say this.