the stranger

On the bus today I realized that the world has become a completely alien place. Where before I would pass the time with people-watching, making up stories for each person I saw, today I saw a sea of empty faces. I had no idea what any of them meant, what they were like, what they should have been like. I fled the bus early and took back streets home, and found that the rows of what used to be very beautiful houses now just felt like imposing monoliths, telling me I don't belong here.

When I got home, I turned on the television and watched the evening news. I've always been a man of strong opinions on the news, but I felt only confusion as I watched. I was vaguely aware that something about the evening's events should have stirred my emotions, but I didn't actually feel anything. All I got out of it was the basic facts, bereft of feeling and context. Puzzled, I retired to my bedroom, only to find that it was no more familiar to me than a room at the Motel 6.

It's stranger still because I know I remember a time when I understood the world, when it made some sort of sense, and when I didn't retire at the end of the day feeling frightened and confused. But here I am, laying in bed, watching the lights from traffic play across the walls, and I don't remember what it was like.

I have no faith that it will get better tomorrow, but I have every confidence that I'll put on a smile and act like things are normal.

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