With each and every step, I feel the cold concrete seep through the rubber soles of my weathered Converse. My toes, numb from winter’s last ditch effort to retard spring’s progress, seem to mock the rest of my body. My limbs and core can still feel the pain, the cold from the years that have passed. But not my toes. They are lucky. They have been deadened. They no longer have to suffer. They no longer have to feel.
Weaving, maneuvering these crowded streets, my eyes glance up with hopes of discovering a friendly face, a smile or two to concentrate on. But these hopes, these internal wishes are quickly dashed. No smiles, no winks, no simple “hellos”.
Not today at least.
And that’s when it hit me. In a city of nearly 9 million people, I am completely alone.
I can see people’s faces. I can hear their voices. I can even feel their laughter reverberate through me as they joke amongst their friends at the table next to me. But I just sit and observe like I am window shopping for things I cannot afford.
As I curl up to this bar and ask the bartender for another drink, I glance down at my feet that swing beneath me from atop of my perch of this old wooden barstool. My toes, still numb, do not care that they are alone. They do not care because they do not feel a thing.
In this very moment, I envy them. You see, my toes are lucky. I wish I could have what they have. I covet their virtual paralysis.
And As I finish this next drink, I hope the rest of my body will catch up. I want to feel numb. I want to feel nothing but the cold.
Because today, I am jealous of my toes. They do not feel alone. They just do not care. And for once, just for today, I want to feel the same.