I sit at the table in the corner of this coffee shop, fighting my sleep. I can only think of one thing in the pockets of my wakefulness: that there are people in my life, and I do not know who put them there. They seem to have appeared out of nowhere, like a patch of flowers in the early days of spring, and now that they are here, I must do my best to be around them. Some people I recall entering my life like a guest who knocked on the wrong door, but the others, I can’t much place. One day I woke up, and they were in my life, and now, our paths are intertwined. Now that they are here, I am a part of their stories, albeit little, and now that it is this way, they are a part of this story, too.
Behind the music in my ears, a private concert we take for granted, I listen to the murmuration of the crowd. I am shocked at how many people exist together and how we meet each other. “Can you help me move about this life—all of it seems a little too much to go through alone?” We ask each other this when we smile, make eye contact, and talk more than necessary with a stranger as we both procrastinate at the same table, tired and bored. But it is all too cliche to talk about. It is like breathing. Talking about it does little than make it appear harder than it is.
I walk around a city like I waltz around in life—with a sense of security even though I do not know my way as much as I like to believe. It is the people, the people around me, that make it possible. The privilege of being able to meet others and the joy of having some of them stay for years makes me glad. Sitting here, I can almost see myself from after. Call it a trance of exhaustion. I can see this entire cafe, like how we often observe a colony of ants, seeing everything all at the same time. I see myself, one of many people, living. I see all the people here as dots in Brownian motion, some moving towards each other with stupendous force, bound to cross paths. Perhaps, that is how it plays out on most days. It is only that we are too occupied and distracted, but sometimes, if the day is bright enough, we can see it for what it is and always has been: a collision course.