Sitting alone is difficult in a crowded room.
There are so many people, milling around,
filling in rows and rows of chairs.
The chair next to her remains empty.
She’d like to be with some of these people
but prefers to be alone, and watch.
Envying the girls who stick together, the ones who save each other seats,
and gossip during boring meetings,
she sees that there is really no one like her
so she accepts being alone.
Listening, paying attention, observing
thinking some people seem pretty stupid
she can’t deal with the mediocrity
but swears it’s not a case of feeling superior.
In fact, she often feels less than them.
She listens intently to the speaker,
aware she is the only one who does.
Some people around her seem not to understand.
She knows they’re not trying.
They are slackers,
they don’t know what is happening out there,
and don’t care.
Their worries are new shoes and designer bags,
the latest sales and shopping,
more trinkets, gadgets, and appliances to fill their empty hands and homes.
She thinks about children,
considers an impossible task she wants to tackle,
analyzes a problem needing to be resolved.
She wonders how her people will make it through,
how her country will persevere.
She ponders the meanings of words.
She watches the others around her, their behaviors,
the acts they put on, the attitudes they wear.
Brain-dead conversations, selfish outlooks,
she places her bag on the empty chair next to her,
and appreciates the space.