In the crowded room, I shrink into myself. I sit with my knees up, feet on the edge of the chair. I hide in a book, sometimes. Other times, I pretend I'm not overwhelmed by the hundreds of conversations, the thousands of thoughts flying around, the millions of permutations of words and gestures. I pretend it's not too loud, that I don't mind the population density, and I sit down and talk to someone. I talk to several people. "Hey! How are you? How was your week? What's going on in your life?" To each one, I ask the same questions. . . to each, give slightly different answers. . . I'd rather not add to the noise and commotion. Listening is better.
I walk home under the stars, and the cold doesn't bother me because I wrap myself in wordlessness, listening to the wind. It moves, yes, but with grace and purpose, not chatter.
But at home, in the stillness of my room, I want to talk to someone. Who? To you, maybe. To my family, to someone who knows me through and through. So is it really solitude I seek, or is it safety? I don't know. I only know that the wind is enough.