The Art of Invisibility

He didn’t know what quite to do that cloudy afternoon. He had just returned from a camping trip and the weather seemed far too agreeable for him to just go home and call it a day. He went loitering around a mall, which he decided were full of things to do, started buying odds and ends he thought he might need in the future, and rested himself out in an outdoor cafe where he smoked his cigarettes and read his book silently.

From time to time, he would look up from his book and examine the pedestrians passing by. He would occasionally start at the contents of his drink or check on the bag of new clothes he had only carelessly decided to buy (just in case there’d be another camping trip to attend!), before letting his attention run back into the book he was reading.

He sat there like a statue, so still until for a few moments he would make his move to look up again. It was seeming as though he was expecting something, or someone. The sun was slowly hiding itself under gray dappled, cotton-like clouds. Rain was wintering and bouts of thunder rolled on far away across. His eyes moved from his book to briefly stare at the sky slowly changing, at his things, at the people around who, one by one, herd themselves to dry, covered areas to avoid getting wet.

You could tell, he was looking for something – you just couldn’t tell what. It wasn’t long before it started raining. You could feel the itch. The trace of a feeling. Everyone was gone and he was still outside, alone, under the cover of a patio umbrella, still smoking his cigarettes and still reading his book. As time went by, he continued to look up and around, only to revert back again to his book, picking up where he’d left off. He went on for an hour more. Then another. He went on until after it was dark. Until it was sure that nothing, absolutely nothing, would be heading his way tonight.

You see, he felt nothing by the time he had to leave. He was alone, he was faceless, he was a day waiting older. He went with everything without recognition. You see him, you hear his voice, but you will pass him by.

And he will continue waiting, smoking his cigarettes and lifting his eyes briefly from his book. But even then, you will still pass him by.

Invisible Hand Picture


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