You catch yourself feeling desperate. You reach out over the wires, over the fibres, to someone, to anyone.
“Validate my existence” you shout at the seething mass, too shy to direct your need at any specific individual. In return you hear the echo, voices, millions of voices crying in refrain “validate us, tell us we mean something, that we matter”.
You walk down the street, get on a bus, sit and watch the people. Eyes downcast, trying to avoid catching a gaze. Burying themselves in books and magazines or walking briskly with purpose, eyes dead ahead like a protective shield.
Then you catch one, a pair of eyes outside the window, frozen in horror to be noticed, just like you. The bus moves on, the eyes accelerate away from you, relief is followed by regret.
You should have smiled. Made a connection. Let down the barrier.
You go on your computer and send words to anyone and no-one and swear next time you will reach out to someone real.