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.
When you were young you felt so invincible and every act seemed to touch so lightly upon your soul that it mattered not what you did. You jolt awake now, sudden entry to adulthood and hardly recognise yourself for the scars and pox marks that disfigure your person. Every choice made so lightly advertised heavily in the lines on your face and the words in your permanent record. Your parents, teachers, social workers – they warned you this day would come, you laughed at them and proclaimed with bravado you did not care.
Truly, you did not care, but now older, weaker and more tired you turn back and glance at the corridor behind you. Thousands of doors, locked and barred, worlds and experiences you may never explore. Comforts and wonders denied to you.
You would rage against the makers of locks and the keepers of keys, but you did it yourself, the drab empty corridor before you, so few choices, painstakingly handcrafted by your lack of foresight. It is what you deserve.
Lately you did not feel like getting up out of bed and once you got up you did not feel like doing anything at all. You sat around, playing music and trying to escape the nagging feeling of terror regarding the things you should have been doing but did not do. Sometimes you thought of doing them but your heart sank, maybe it was fear of failure, maybe it was the knowledge that it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s not like anyone will care if you fail to bathe today, or don’t practice your Suomi cases, or write to a friend who has been waiting too long to hear from you already and has probably given up all hope of correspondance.
Still how you wish you had done those things yesterday and the day before, how you wish the cases were as natural to you as your native tongue, how you wish you had taken better care of your body and kept in touch with those old friends who you suspect must feel great animosity toward you on account of your neglect for them.
Today of course it is probably too late, anything to avoid thinking too hard about it, or feeling too much about it, but yesterday, ah how you should have done yesterday differently.