Life is easy when you’re a ghost. You can slip through crowds, unseen, as they part before you like you’re one of God’s chosen. You don’t have to worry about things like appearance or being sociable, because no one ever notices you. You just make your way through life, taking care of what needs to be done while the rest of humanity goes about their work.
I’m a ghost. I don’t remember the last time someone really saw me. Of course, people acknowledge my existence - a curt nod, a small smile – but no one seems to truly see me. I’m just another nameless face, passing them by as they go off to do whatever it is they do. I understand. All these people, wrapped up inside themselves, just don’t have time for another person to remember, another name to commit to memory, another relationship to foster.
I’ve gotten used to it. All my interactions are only those that other deem necessary, almost always involving business: the cashier ringing up my food, the waitress taking my order, the doctor doing a checkup. Still, even these are slowly being taken away from me. I use a self-service lane at the store. I order at the drive thru by yelling at an intercom. I diagnose myself online, can’t afford a checkup. I can feel myself becoming more and more unreal and indiscernible; I’m turning into little more than a shadow hidden in a larger darkness.
“Well, aren’t you just all lost in thought? Care to share.”
The voice shatters my inner monologue, and forces me up to the surface. I glance up from my task of deciding what butter to buy, looking at her, my eyes meeting her own. I see genuine curiosity in them. I smile, really smile, for the first time in months. This woman has seen me. I think I can feel myself becoming real again…