A swarming bus, an alien city, a foreign airport. Not a familiar face in sight. For a moment you feel lost and
alone,like nobody around you actually cares where you end up, and whether you feel safe or not.
Everyone is in their own little bubble, some people rushing from one place to another, some with their eyes glued to their phones, others with their headphones in, dozing lightly, others still engaged in heated discussions or mundane conversations. Their faces go past you in a flash, gone before you even remember the details.
Or perhaps the scene is a little different. A deserted street, an empty isolated station, a vacant train carriage at night. Not a soul in sight, and the atmosphere is more eerie than peaceful.
In both situations, you are alone with your thoughts, and you cannot shake off the feeling of separateness, of detached isolation. Sometimes it feels as though you are looking at the world in front of you through a glass cage. You are in it and you are not simultaneously.
But then, as your eyes drift around absent-mindedly, you notice someone just like you. A stranger who has something about them that you recognise. Their eyes smile knowingly before the corners of their mouth rise as you exchange a glance, and you know they recognised something within you as well.
Sometimes, this encounter does not develop into anything beyond a simple glance or smile, other times this stranger becomes a friend. But that moment of understanding reminds you that you are not alone.
We are not all strangers after all.