How Many?

Billions of people, all going in different directions to their own destinations.

I look at them.

Some smile at the sight of someone looking their way; others look away as quickly as they can.

Some wear baggy clothes to cover insecure bodies; others wear tight clothes to accentuate the same.

I can see it in their eyes.


How many of them have smiled today – a genuine smile, not the façade of happiness we occasionally wear?

For how many will my smile be the first they see on this dreary day?

I look them in the face, smile, as I pass by…

I see the gleam in their eyes for a fleeting moment, but the comfort fades with that gleam.

They continue onward, heavy feet and hurried stride – moving, moving, moving, but never getting anywhere.


How many of these have considered taking their own life?

How many of these have experienced death?

How many have experienced rejection, or the pangs of despised love, the heartbreak of a shattered relationship, a shattered past?

How many of these have been cheated on?

How many of these have given their bodies away?

How many of these felt obligated, like it was their only option, their last ditch effort for happiness?

How many hated themselves when they realized they were wrong?

How many go to the bars night after night, slaving at school during the week, pining for love on the weekends?

How many drink to have fun – drink to escape – drink to forget – drink to fit in?

How many are lost? Weary? Burdened? Longing for rest?


Some dress to impress – for themselves or others, I do not know.

Some have given up – out of submission or for comfort, I do not know.

They all walk with headphones in, phone in hand, eyes on screen – to take care of business or avoid interaction or to silence the silence, I do not know.

But here we are.

Walking, walking, walking, yet always moving backwards.


Some laugh and make a show of what they say and do – out of genuine joy, or seeking attention, in search of one kindred soul? Who can say?

Many retreat into the background, but their eyes look longingly upon these who are brave enough to speak – oh, to be brave!

All are searching. All are walking. All are passing by. All are going somewhere. All are headed in a direction.

But where are they going?

Why have I never cared?