A little less than a Stranger?

Have you ever wondered that there are so many people in our life who we don't know, yet we know. The milkman, the paper delivery boy, the cashier who works at the neighbourhood grocery, the vegetable vendor, and so on...

And what about the people you pass by regularly. People who cross your way as you both exercise everyday. Or the people you meet in the lift at office or at home.

Are these people strangers ? Well, of course they are ! They aren't even simple acquaintances. You don't know their names or what they do. Whether they are married or single; with or without kids. You have no idea where they live. You are clueless about their life; what makes them happy or sad. And you definitely won't be okay if your kid walked away with one of them.

Yet in other ways these people aren't totally strangers. They aren't faceless. You acknowledge their presence with a smile; and sometimes not at all; but you soon start recognizing them. You somehow seem to expect them and when they are missing, you're startled. You take a moment to stop and wonder what happened to them - why aren't they where they should be at this time ? Is something the matter ?

So who are they to us ? I've wondered about this - and the best explanation I could come up with was a-little-less-than-a-stranger.