So, at my relatively new job, there's this guy on one of my teams and I (with great sensitivity) call him 'Gay Hands'. They flutter like little nervous birds when he's explaining his work. Not a definitive by any means, taken on its own. There's a gold band on the left hand. And he's got just the slightest hint of fussiness in his inflection. Ending consonants are just a little too tight. He somehow always mentions watching football in literally every non-work-related convo we have. He even pantomimed a remote and said "isn't any football on?" I think it was the pantomiming that sealed it for me.
At any rate, I make no judgments. I simply notice these sorts of details and they, often against my will, aggregate into an idea of his deepest darkest secret. A poorly kept one to be sure. And truly, I want to more oblivious. I don't want to know that he has a loveless marriage and he watches football for questionable reasons.
Because it sort of breaks my heart when he makes a football comment. Or he says to me, "I'm going to explain this to you like my wife would explain it to me."
I have a hard time making eye contact. I'm sure he senses my discomfort and I hope he doesn't misread it. I'm not uncomfortable because of him; I'm uncomfortable FOR him. I don't want him to see my ponderings flash across my face.
I heard recently a piece of dialog somewhere to the effect "Isn't it the damnedest thing ... We can never see the problem with ourselves but it's apparent to everyone else the second they meet us."
Godspeed, Gay Hands. May you clutch a peen or two in life if ever you are ok with the reality of it.