“Anonymity is overrated.”
She sighed, speaking to no one in particular, as no one in particular would have been able to hear.
Every single person passing by was a potential friend, a potential lover, a potential enemy. What constitutes the overture of a hello? What invites the cultivation of these potentials? What calls for the personal intrusion of one life into another?
She’d seen the same woman in blue close behind her on both sides of the street. Did the very coincidence of directional solidarity create a foundation for conversation? Likely not.
An interesting sign, a particularly funny set of buildings, a silly business name.
She was to experience these things as a stranger, strangely alone and strangely uncertain of what they would mean. These would one day provide her with topics of conversation, a casual reference of something familiar, but today they would merely be pieces of trivia to store away, alone and unnoticed.
To be a stranger is to be unknown.
It is the casual forced smile. It is awkward prolonged eye contact followed by looking away and walking on by. It is wondering what would happen if you interrupted a conversation. It is debating whether to tell someone they are beautiful.
To be unknown is to be uninvited. How do you find an invitation?