Encounter

“Hello young lady! How are you doing tonight?” The words drift off her tongue like a happy joke, friendly, but somehow poking fun. Flirting with sarcasm in a short bohemian dress.

“I’m fine… Thanks” I mutter. Needless words, as she is already five steps past hearing and stopped caring once the words left her mouth. I stare back at my phone and pretend I have someone to talk to. I press the on button, check the battery level, see if I have any new texts…I don’t.

People walk by on the sidewalk, glancing at me with curiosity, trying to figure me out. “What is that girl doing,” They ask themselves “she’s just sitting, alone, outside that hotel? She’s not drinking, or clubbing, or talking to anyone or anything. She doesn’t even look like she’s enjoying herself. And what is she wearing, a longsleeve shirt and jeans! In Miami!?”

Realistically they only have enough time to think one of those things, but there’s enough people passing for an entire conversation of that sort to formulate in my mind. Not to mention the table of three down the way, now the only other people sitting out here on this warm Southbeach night, they have enough time and few enough other options to judge to spend the whole night thinking about me. Unless they leave. Then it will be me, all alone, in front of this 2 star 4 star hotel. Which I won’t mind at all. It would give me more time to finish my writing and not feel like I’m ignoring the world and texting to someone who isn’t even there. Which I am.

Lonely. If I had a word for it, that’s what it might be. Watching couples walk and the table of friends at the far end of the balcony, I become a little jealous of their apparent felicity and companionship. All I have is this book. This imaginary literary composition that will bear my heart and feed my soul by finally letting me accomplish my lifetime goal of being a real writer.

And now all her friends have left the lone texter at the far end of the balcony, and now all she has is her imaginary friends and dreams. I wish I wasn’t texting. We make quite a pair, she and I. Lonely copies at two ends of the seating area, texting away and ignoring the immediate reality. The epitome of what technology has done to our world. Divided us so that ever closer and able to connect we are more truley farther apart.

But now she has left, lone texter, and I am most truly alone. A dark fear taints the night, lit with yellow street lamps and green neons, the fear that comes with strangers and the danger of the unknown. 

I stand to stretch and glance around the alleys and corners. No one. The roads are clearing out, emptying as the new day begins. It’s midnight in Miami, and as usual, I’m all alone.

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