Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Lonely Man

    It was not his intention to go adventuring there.  He had confidants and advisors beckoning him to get out and socialize.  The solitude of his circumstances could only be cured by the company of people not yet met.  So reluctantly, he went.

    The familiar streets were crowded with unfamiliar faces, all looking past him as if he were invisible.  The passersby attentions all trained on their companions; there was no room for the lowly stranger in their midst.  

    The town was alive with revelry; noise came from all directions.  The din was both unbearably loud and totally indecipherable.  Laughter, shrieks, distant calls combined with the music of a dozen venues and a thousand muttered conversations to become a mélange of nerve challenging dissonance.

    His deliberate smiles and tacit hellos met empty eyes and averted glances; he ruminated that had he had ventured out completely nude, he was certain that his presence would have gone just as unnoticed.  He found no friends. 

    Transecting the calamity of tourists and locals, the need for a strong drink entered his mind.  Loitering with the unwitting expectation that a rescue squad of forgotten and neglected acquaintances from his previous life might somehow salvage the night, the possibility of an empty discourse with a professional conversationalist drove him to the nearest watering hole.  The unseeing crowd gave no yield to his incursion, and when by a series of widening detours, the lone man gained proximity to the bar, there were no voids for which he could fill.  Standing three back from his intended goal and gesturing in direct line-of-sight, his discomfort grew as the mute bartender proved as blind as the pedestrians on the street to his presence. 

    Backtracking through the inattentive throngs, he found the sidewalk equally as stifling as the dram shop.  Evasively wandering amid the swirling currents of street musicians, young lovers, generational families and cliques of back-slapping comrades enrapt in their secret mottled words and gestures, the lone man opened every unlocked door only to find over and over again, the same disconcerting crowd, each time wearing different faces.
     Nary a single smile could he garner, and the scant few moments of eye contact were colored with undertones of pity and misunderstanding.  He was alone not by choice, but yes, he was alone.

     At last the Heavens granted him some respite; the skies opened above the quaint town and dowsed it with a cleansing rain.  He now had unquestionable reason to slink back to the comfort of his lonely hovel, justified with his earnest attempt to appease the admonitions of those who bade him to go.   

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