i see you. lost in a sea of people. looking at the ground. avoiding eye contact. yet watching everything as each new day unfolds. feeling so alone. so different from the rest. hoping desperately that no one will notice you as you really are. doing your best to blend.

you hide behind a face you think they want to see. or at least are comfortable seeing. they seem so satisfied with their lack of reality. as you try not to rock the boat. wondering if they could ever possibly feel as you do. maybe as they lie down to sleep at night. when there is no one around to impress. maybe then they feel the same.

day in and day out, you watch the show. as one person tries to convice another he is happy. it seems that to admit the truth is unthinkable and unforgivable. for maybe if just one person were to expose his or her emptiness, the sky would break and stars come crashing down. so you remain silent.

you burn to pour out all that churns inside. but no. they couldn’t handle it, you tell yourself. and even if you tried, would you be able to express so much? insecurity digs a deep channel in you, as you scold yourself for not playing the game as well as they do. for they seem so convinced that this petty stuff is what life is all about. and so you remain distant. an impassable gulf between you and them. in this you are miserable. yet in this you feel safe.

lost in a sea of people. looking at the ground. avoiding eye contact. day in, and day out.

Daniel Dessinger
October 5, 1999