I like to walk around by myself and pretend I’m invisible, and as such I also have the ability to see every little thing strangers hope no one notices. Like whether their socks are matching today, or if their gait is somewhat pigeon-toed. I notice the faint traces of pain on women’s faces while they walk around in their high-heels. I’m privy to those secret and not-so-secret glances directed at attractive potential mates, those somewhat disconcerting body-length scans. Sometimes these are so transparent that I’m disgusted.
None of it really matters to me though. I don’t take any secret joy in their possible embarrassment or discomfort. I just like to know. I file all that stuff away in my head for later, these curious and real human idiosyncrasies. For what purpose, I can’t put into words yet. For now, it’s just a necessary and pleasurable exercise.
I don’t fancy the day I lock eyes with a stranger and realize he is playing the same game. All the fun in it would dissipate immediately.
But truth be told, the fun in it has been missing lately. I’ve been distracted.
I’ve been spending a lot of time alone. Mostly by my own machinations, but sometimes because the only person I’d like to spend time with is always at work. Instead of sitting in my room by myself, I’ve been stretching out those hours of freedom between work/volunteering/interning and arriving at my apartment by wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood I happen to be in.
And while this meandering is usually fairly cathartic, lately, underneath my blank expression, I’m seething. This anger is often directed at a number of things—usually whatever occurred most recently—but I’m certain the well from which it springs is much deeper than anything I’m usually frustrated about.
I think I feel perfectly fine, and suddenly my thoughts darken and the anger slams into me like lightning. Earlier today, while running some errand by myself, I was aghast by a sudden awareness of the tension above my brow. I think I physically froze in the middle of the store aisle. This now happens often when I’m wandering alone.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m fiercely unhappy, perhaps more so than I initially realized. Perhaps it’s because graduation has passed and my life doesn’t seem to be any more clear than before. In some ways it’s even shadier than before. I’m starting to feel trapped again, as I did a few years ago when I still lived in Carson. So what then? My anger should be directed at myself, should it not? All of my decisions are my own. Technically, I “trapped” myself, therefore I should just as easily be able to free myself.