She’d had a boyfriend who wouldn’t walk on the lines on the sidewalks. It made for very interesting experiences. He was especially terrified of the grates. He was big and hulky and hot, the line and grate thing humanized him.
She babysat a friends kid awhile back. They colored and his little, earnest hands gripped his crayon so tight his fingers went white. He was concentrating so hard, trying to stay in the lines of the Sponge Bob figure. It took some of the joy out of coloring.
She flew Southwest Airlines. Before they set up the new numbered system she used to watch the lines with amusement and surprise. People were so fascinating, she thought. Here were grown men pushing children, women, anyone to get to the front of the A or B lines. She flew with SWA often enough to know that as long as you were somewhere in the B line you’d be ok with carryon, C it was a crap shoot. Each time she flew she was amazed at the behavior that would emerge in people, panicked to get in the spot they wanted.
She regularly drove up to wine country. As she made the transition from urban downtown to country, she marveled at the beauty. It was striking to her, but didn’t resonate like the lines of the tall skyscrapers near her house, or the swoop of the cables on the bridge. But as she drove, she looked at the rows and rows of grapevines, some straighter than others, and wondered at what an art form this type of agriculture and farming is. She had heard someone explain that one of the well-known wine makers in the area was meticulous about his vineyards. They were immaculately groomed, set in perfectly straight lines. This was part of his art, vineyards cared for like small children until they grew and gave up their fruit to people picking it by hand, and taking it on the journey to make a great wine.
She herself disliked lines. She stepped on them, colored outside of them, stood in them grudgingly. But as she’d seen and gone more places in the world, and expanded her perspective, she’d realized there was a purpose to structure and order. Sometimes the purpose was liberating, other times restricting.