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Feb 2019
You are far from anyone. Miles, hours, large measurements of distance and time. You live by yourself in what you and most people call the middle of nowhere. You love being alone. You were born for it. But the mailman comes. He knows you by name. You are one of few on his daily drive. He knows you receive weekly letters from Tracy, and has even learned some other names too. Do you think he knows that every letter begs for your return? He finds you in your garden on Monday mornings. He cares about your produce. He knocks when it rains. He is one of many that care, that pay attention. The people of work refer to you by name, the customers do the same. There is never anyone new. You know what they are there for. They search for corn, cabbage, rice and you. You cannot beg them not to care. Do you think they care? They ask about your cat. Questions are traps. You ride your bike for miles until you reach the safety of your large, lonely home. The ringing in your ears does not let you forget. They are talking about you. They know not to eat your apples but they will continue to buy them. You wish you could stop selling apples, or maybe that you would stop poisoning them. Why must you poison them? Is the phone ringing or is that your ears again? What's the difference? They are thinking about you either way. You gave up inventing something to erase yourself from their minds when you moved here. You need it more than ever. The grass grows long, weeds consume your garden. The mailman still knocks. Your ears ring when you avoid the windows. He knows you're there because you still read the letters. The grass is long but the pile does not grow.

You are surrounded by people.  They rush past you while you sit on a bench that has grown very attached to you. It does not know you by name. You cannot remember the last time you heard your name. You give them a new one every time you order a cappuccino at your usual coffee shop. Everyone is too busy looking at everyone else. No one looks at you. You walk fast, tall, confidentially. You are completely invisible. You were born to be. You are yourself because you can be. You hide in the skyscrapers shadows. They have always been there for you. Your friends are benches and birds. They think you are gentle. You hide behind your computer screen forty hours a week. You do not mind when it looks at you. Does it mind that you look at it? Your mattress is on the floor. You are grounded fourteen floors above the ground. The guard does not make your ears ring so you do not mind him smiling. No day is like the last. Nothing is predictable. You hear everything with the lack of a ring. You are here. You are you. You are alone and you are happy. The mailman does not knock when he leaves bills in your box. He does not care about your produce. He does not remember your name. What is your name again? No one's ears ring because of me. My thoughts are taken up by the way the sky looks between buildings. There is no grass, there is no pile.
Sarah Foster
Written by
Sarah Foster  21/F/New Jersey
(21/F/New Jersey)   
102
   ---, Fawn, Perry, Suzy Berlinsky and Eno
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