Sonder

It’s rather curious that each individual, each stranger has a life just as complex (if not more) as our own. It’s even more so bizarre that we can’t truly ever comprehend that.

The man on the subway. His blank stare gives off little so nothing other than numbness, though there is something behind it. He has two children, twin boys, whom he is struggling to take care of. His wife cannot with the loss of her own father and has been bedridden from grief. The man grew up in a safe and sheltered home. He knew not what it was to struggle. This makes it that much harder for him to keep above the waters. He works as a journalist and can barely write a column without inserting petty jabs at everything causing him and his family hurt. He no longer loves writing, but does it as a mundane routine. His boss says he has “lost his spark” and another, younger man is already lined up to take his position if needed.

Or maybe

He is exhausted from college in the city. The bags under his sleep deprived eyes make him appear older than the freshly 20 year old he is. He is studying art, specifically ceramics, hence the dried clay tracing his skin and caked on his sleeves. He’s an only child with divorced parents. He is used to relying on himself, but not to this extent, not being entirely alone in a foreign city. He loves it, though. It exhausts and drains every inch of him but he has never felt more free, more at liberty to be himself. Here, he is relaxed. His guard is down.

Or maybe

He has just received news that his husband died in the hospital bed. He was on his way to see him but couldn’t get off work fast enough. Now, he has lost his husband and fears he will never feel whole again. He is numb.

There is no way to know, not for all of the strangers and passerbyers we see everyday. All we have is our imagination and observations to create a universe for them. Sometimes, the universe we create is much more beautiful than their reality.

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