Beauty

People are afraid of being alone. Visit the city, that’s how one will see.

The sole ones rush quickly, earphones in, phone on the ear, the downcast face of shame. In a world so connected, solitude is a sin and loneliness is the immoral conclusion perceived.

Or must it be? For being alone happens to be my affection.

This is my secret: that in a space colossal and imbued with human energy, I stand still to watch it all. Instead of running and dashing about, my feet grow roots. I wish to recognise the life of this immense atmosphere.

On the park bench, on the windy pedestrian bridge, these places find my soul slow to a halt. I appear in their memory a flitting image, but to me they stay a little longer. These are lives by the abundant and they are stories I will never unravel. These moments can make me weep.

If I could, I would be in want to touch as many lives as possible. There’s incredible potential in one, how much more shall there be in a group? Crowds overwhelm me, but in my staring I am hopelessly enchanted. I cannot comprehend this enormity despite my best efforts.

I am happily alone in the city, but if you are willing — would you watch the city with me?

I met a butterfly crusher once.

There by the beaten garden path, when my inquisitive eyes prompted him to say hey. He looked mighty curious, with a faded jacket and pale shoes. While my mother told me to avoid strangers, I stayed anyway. Sat next to him on the wooden bench.

Do you want to see a magic trick? is what he asked back then in an odd voice.

Child that I was, an evident yes.

He covered his right hand on top of the left palm before taking it away. The magic occurred, in which a turquoise butterfly landed neatly on his left palm, as though on command. (Later in my years, I found out that it was sucrose.)

It gently flapped its wings with a rhythmic heartbeat before he crumpled his fist.

Why did you do that? I remembered yelling. It was so beautiful!

Shrug of the shoulders, a cold look in my direction. Look, kid, he mused, the beautiful are foolish. They are fragile and insignificant, imaginative whims of someone who has nothing better to do. He dusted his hands and left me.

Powdered butterfly wings mourned itself at my feet.

Child that I was, I should have said no.