We are each of us adrift

Is this a fictional story? A real life anecdote? Literary philosophical waxing? I leave it to your interpretation.

You are starved even though your stomach says it is full. Searching, digging within, you feel the call, the urge, the hunger for something. You haven’t the proper words for what that is, but you feel it.

There are others seemingly like you. You see the longing and pain between the smiles, the platitudes. The order of things is unnatural. You sense the disconnection, the isolation a modern world forces on them and you to survive. All around you see the shields, little bubbles that bounce off each other but never merge.

The feeling crawls further up your gut into your heart. Breathing becomes harder the closer you get to another of these units, these collections of cells working in chaotic harmony. You come nearer to finding a word for the feeling, as your hand, so close to theirs, begs for contact, to be reminded that it is real, that you are not the only one who feels.

You never feel so alone as when around the most units like you. So many auras, agendas, so many self-imposed barriers. No one wants to be hurt, no one wants truth, only the appearance of it. Your skin crawls as virtue and civility are worn as badges of honor even while the meaning of it is lost on all you see.

The feeling has slithered up into your throat, beckoning you to cry out for any who will listen. Among billions of units, surely there must be at least one other like you, who feels and thinks what the many only claim to.

You take the scraps of kindness and attention thrown to you, as if you are a dog waiting by his master’s table. And what else is there to do but eat what is provided, lest you well and truly starve? It lets you escape, you think, into a somewhere else, where you can forget that each of us are adrift and alone, trapped by cosmic absurdity on a living rock, that is itself alone, hurting for companionship.

The feeling is in your brain, and you scream.

FIN

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