Lonely places

I’ve been thinking about loneliness, especially the loneliness one can feel in a crowd. I’ve always loved feeling anonymous in a crowd—it’s one of the reasons I could survive New York City—but feeling lonely is a bit different.

These days I feel lonely as a person who believes in compassion, in hospitality, in human rights. I feel lonely for thinking that “Black lives matter” is a complete no-brainer, precisely because all lives matter. I feel lonely for assuming more Muslims are mothers or accountants or weekend gardeners than terrorists.

I feel lonely, but I am definitely not alone. I am lost in a crowd. Millions and millions of people and most of my friends share these views. Hell—millions of people are Muslim mothers, are Black, are immigrants, etc.

How is it that a few obnoxious voices—or even thousands—can disorient me so much that I feel as if I’m an isolated minority?

Sunset, Kansas City, Missouri, May 15, 2018