No other city can make me feel as alone as I do here. I can stand in the midst of a crowded street and feel the passing bodies of thousands who do not see me. I can sit in a cafe and never be noticed. I can walk into a room and have no one notice me: Conversations that are not interrupted, glances that do mot inquire, greetings that are not meant to be heard or answered. I can walk for hours and I may as well be in a desert. All around me full and busy lives, a commotion of schedules to keep, meeting to get to, friends to sit with, and places to be at. Surrounded in a sea of people all of whom seem to have too much to do.
I walk slower. I sit longer. I say less. I wait more. I bring books. Scribble in notepads. I feel the summer rains. I caress my thoughts. I long for a voice calling out my name. A coincidental meeting of a friend. A stranger who wants to strike a conversation. An encounter. Ideas. Thoughts. Readings. Concerns. All within me and none to speak to about them. Most simply walk away from boredom or exhaustion. These isolating concerns, these distancing protests, these off-putting arguments, these tiresome polemics – she described them as thus once and walked away. What do you do if you fear being seen because it may mean being unseen?
Friends send Facebook messages with suggestions that may help. All the suggestions however I actually work hard to avoid so that I can forever be alone, awash in this noise, but cocooned in the privacy it affords me.