Solitude - By Ian Duncan
SOLITUDE


Sunday morning in a new city. After another night of searching, I stand alone. The concrete walls of the Metro surround me as I wait for the train. I'm lost, in this new city and in my experiences within it. I'm frustrated. The train arrives and I get on. I don't know where it will take me and I don't care, I just want to leave this place.

The train flies through the black passages beneath the city, carrying me away from my place of abdication . . . alone. I appreciate the isolation of the Metro. After a night of intense connection and closeness I need to withdraw from the world, and the Metro is where I find that isolation I need. I sit alone on the train, staring through a window as the black wall of the tunnel speeds past me.

The train pulls to a stop and I get off, thinking I've found my destination. I follow a small crowd to the streets above, lured by the confidence of their movement, only to realize I'm still lost. It doesn't matter so much to me now though: I'm just glad to be alone.

Outside on a secluded urban street a light rain falls from a flat grey sky. The small drops land on my face as I stand on the sidewalk beside the Metro. Usually I run from the rain taking shelter inside, but today, the rain is my shelter. I stand there waiting for the water to cover me. I don't know where I am but I want to stay here, even if only for a few minutes.

Across the street a boy stands outside a flower shop staring at the sidewalk display. He must be picking something out for his mother: it's Mother's Day, and most of the women on the street are already holding flowers from their loved ones. I wait to see what he picks but he doesn't pick anything at all, he merely stands there staring at the flowers, absorbed by them. He doesn't move during the entire time I'm there. I want to ask him who he's thinking of. I want so much to talk to him, to hear his voice, to tell him about my night with a stranger. But I just watch him instead, thinking about my experience last night.

I carry my thoughts back down into the Metro with me, hoping still to find something familiar in this foreign place. Beneath the city again, the isolation of the Metro overtakes me. I walk through the halls alone and find something unexpected.


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