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all alone in the crowd

published: 2015-03-25

She comes up next to me on her bike. We wait for the traffic light to turn green. Bikes in front of us, bikes behind us, bikes all around.
She has pulled her red scarf over her face. Entirely, even over her eyes.
It’s not that cold.
She leans over her steering wheel, pushes her hand against the scarf and her eyes. I look to see if anyone notices.
I do.
And so I touch her. My hand simply reaches over the space between my world and that of a stranger’s. I pat her shoulder.
She looks up, unsettled and caught off guard. Tears are leaping out of her youthful and troubled eyes.
“Hey,” I say, “are you ok?”
She considers her answer. Her sadness remains uninterrupted, is intermixed with confusion.
“It’ll be ok,” I say.
There is a slight shift in her mood. For a split second she is more here than there.
The light jumps on green. She bikes off, along with the rest of us.
We are all alone in the crowd.

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