There is this paradoxical feeling of intense isolation that comes with living in the city. You wouldn’t expect it, being constantly surrounded by hordes of people, but it’s there. And, as much as you try to forget it, as much as you try to surround yourself with kindred spirits, it inevitably finds its way through the cracks of your contacts list.
When it finally does push its way through the barricades that you have so diligently erected around it, it isn’t easily bested. No amount of friendly small talk and smiles from strangers will erase it. The sounds of neighbors through the wall only serve to intensify it. The people you pass on the street are no consolation, despite knowing that, at least to some degree, they feel it too.
Its a strange sensation, wedged in a seat on a packed bus, or nursing a coffee at a tiny wooden table in the back of a busy coffee shop, when that isolation overtakes you. There is no warning for it, either. One moment you’re happily surrounded by friendly faces, and the next moment you might as well be in the woods of Montana. Actually, being in the woods of Montana would probably be better. At least then, that feeling of isolation would be more easily understood.
As of now, I don’t understand it. It shouldn’t be that way. For me, it usually comes on after great times with the people I love. It comes at times when I should be feeling the most invigorated and loved and content. It’s at least partially self inflicted: when that feeling starts to take over, I’m not going to call you. I’m not going to answer your calls, and I probably won’t return your texts. It wouldn’t do any good, anyway.
Maybe someday my better sense will win out. Maybe someday I’ll be able to take down that feeling in a mental wrestling match of logic and reason. Maybe.