He looked around at the crowd. There must have been hundreds of people there. He pulled his sweater tighter around himself, withdrawing inside it. He had never felt so alone in his life. He had never felt so alone amongst so many. Someone shoved into him. He didn’t even notice. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so invisible, so vulnerable. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so abandoned. He turned abruptly and ran. He couldn’t face it anymore. He couldn’t face the countless faces staring back at him, making strange pitiful glances in his direction. He ran until he could no longer hear the noise from the crowd. And then, he stopped. He sat on the curb and again, he pulled his sweater tighter, as if it were protecting him from more than the wind. And then he cried. Because suddenly, he couldn’t bear the stillness of being alone.
September 18, 2009