City of Dreams

Subway

8:29 PM
April 11

Gee, you get so damn lonesome in this town sometimes. New York is no place to be if you’re alone. It’s no picnic if you’ve got somebody either, but if you’re alone, and kind of shy and awkward, and maybe a little homely, being here makes it that much worse. Your loneliness is on full display every day. The streets laugh at you. The guy with the beautiful girl, he looks down on you. And that feeling of being all alone, it follows you everywhere. Late at night on a subway car, early in the morning on a bus crossing Central Park, walking through the tunnels of skyscraper shadows, in a corner booth in a bar…you’re alone everywhere, and New York never lets you forget it. It’s hard. Boy is it hard. Sometimes I walk down these stairs to the station and I feel like I’ll never stop climbing down. I’ll just keep going, by myself, and I’ll never have a friend or anyone that cares about me. And everybody else in the city will pass me by, and they’ll all have somebody and they’ll all look back and laugh at little old lonely me and I’ll just keep climbing down, all alone, never reaching the station, never finding anyone that cares about little old lonely me. No one will ever notice, and no one will ever know how much it hurts sometimes. How hard it is to be alone in this town. Little old lonely me.

Nobody cares.
Nobody notices.
Nobody would notice,
if I weren’t around…

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38 comments
  1. I’m pretty sure you’re right, New York does laugh at you. It can be an especially cruel city. You described that alone feeling perfectly. : (

    • For me it was living in Boston, but I definintely know NYC isolation as well.

  2. ~mimo~ said:

    beautiful photo and a very well written post!

    • I love that picture. It’s been on my get-to list for a while. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. writerwendyreid said:

    Very sad post. I felt so bad for him. I would have been his friend. :-)

    • Because you are AWESOME!

      • writerwendyreid said:

        Awwww….thanks. :-)

  4. Lovely and sad. And so true of so many people I bet. A major reason to be thankful if you’re not one of the lonely ones and an even bigger reason to reach out and help when you see someone who is. :)

    • Yes on all counts!

  5. Jaen Wirefly said:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling lonely. It’s natural to want to meet someone special and share your life with them since humans are social animals. Often, I feel “alien” to this world but when I begin to see what I mean to others it makes me more grounded. I guess the quest is to tolerate being alone without feeling lonely. It’s not easy.

    • Aww, Jaen. Actually, I switched back to fiction today! *I’m* personally great today, after being this guy during my 20s. But you’re sweet for chiming in. ;)

      • Jaen Wirefly said:

        LOL!

      • Yeah, I switch gears a lot around here. *grin*

      • Jaen Wirefly said:

        I can’t stop laughing. I’m glad it happened this way and not the other way around. I’d hate to tell someone that their post was a “well-written slice of life piece” and then they turn around and say “WTF, I’m so depressed!”

      • BWAAAHHH!!!! Yeah, that would be unfortunate! Like “ooohhh, when is the baby due? Oh, you’re not pregnant. Um…oops…”

  6. Lol. For a while there, I wasn’t sure if this was fiction or a current experience. I figured it out by the last sentence. It’s true. I’ve heard NYC is the worst place for a single person because it’s the loneliest place even though it’s a city that never sleeps. I’m a loner by nature (and pretty comfy with my own company), but not lonely. However; by the description you wrote, I’d feel lonely too by what you wrote! Great post!

    • It’s certainly a question of perspective, innit? And certainly one can lose themselves in that feeling of isolation anywhere, but it’s definitely more pronounced in the Apple. I can attest to that. Thanks for dropping in!

  7. After reading the comments I see you are not talking about yourself, phew!! In that case, you are a very talented writter because you made me sad… ;) I’m still in love with the idea (my idea) of NY though, and won’t change my mind until I see it…
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, as Thoreau said. *wink*

  8. free penny press said:

    Nice flash piece…and now thanks to you this song is in my head:

    • I try to make a difference. ;)

      Clip is BLOCKED in the Cube, but can’t wait to check it tonight!

  9. And yet, on your own, you can pass in and out of any group, go wherever you like, and experience so much from the edges…

    • Right?!? Love that.

  10. And yet I so want to be alone…by myself….wanting to get lost in the crowd!

    • That’s the great thing about NY: it allows you that opportunity as well. ;)

  11. Reminded of living in Manhattan in my late-teens/early 20’s. The most populated city I’d ever lived in, yet it seemed like so many people around me, including myself, were utterly alone. Very nicely done.

    • 7,000,000 people and you alone, right? Thanks for coming by!

  12. It’s interesting because I have a friend who says the loneliest time in his life was spent in one of the largest metro areas on the world: London. The irony is that there are more people to hang out with, and yet we can’t make connections with any of them.

    • Totally! That was definitely my experience in Boston.

      • And it was mine in Seattle. People just walking past each other, and nobody making eye contact or saying a word. It seems strange to just walk up to someone and say, “Let’s be friends!!” but I feel like that’s what it might take these days.

      • Really? Seattle? I’m actually unnerved by the friendliness of Seattleites. Maybe I’m doing something wrong!

      • Maybe the Seattleites were just attracted to your animal magnetism! West coast people are intrigued by east coasters.

      • Good point: the leopard print thong does start a lot of conversations…

      • leopard print thong? So….what are you doing later? ;)

      • Did I say that or just think it? Um….uh…

  13. Rebecca Booth said:

    You’ve described the emotions perfectly, you have a talent. Are you published? Because if not, you should be!

    • Working on it! That’s what this page is all about.

    • And thanks.

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