"He did not understand space. Not personal space, anyway.
Even as a young boy he would climb into the laps of strangers fingering earrings and mustaches as though they were there solely to have their tangibility tested. He loved to listen to heartbeats, pressing his head close until systole and diastole became a murmur, a private whispery conversation only he could hear. The general public was a large puzzle that he always wanted to figure out. Smells aroused his curiosity the most, whether it was the musk of the unbathed or the heady scent of an expensive perfume. He often sat too close, leaned in too far and listened too intently.
Uncomfortable was a word he often heard- it was sometimes bellowed if his proximity was deemed invasive- but never quite grasped. He loved people, he would remark by way of explaining his oddities. Police officers were often sympathetic at first, assuming he must be weighed down by an unfit mental state, but were quick to anger when he caressed the fronds of their tethered caps or inhaled their stale caffeinated breath.
Pervert, was a word loosely thrown around in his presence, and he would still look around searching for the person to which the term was being directed."
*inspired by a curious, yet solemn, subway patron