Sometimes I sit in cafes and write. The noise of the people and the rush of the crowd lull me into a quiet in my head that gets me focused on what is real for me. The bottom of the barrel of me. The reality, the truth. I explore how I really feel and what I really think. I consider who I am and what I really want. I admire and admonish my choices. In the noise and with people I can be honest.

Being alone and honest is too difficult.

When I am alone I can convince myself that your opinion doesn’t matter. But it does. When I’m alone I tell myself I am always kind, first on the scene to make a difference, that I will do what’s required for whoever, whenever. With people, I’m a little more selective. Judgmental and choosy. When I am alone I can say what I want and be that. With people, who really am is there.

Loud and clear.

I watch people arrive and leave. People watching is my favourite thing. I watch as some confidently appear and disappear. Some pull at their clothes. Some only look up when necessary, never meeting the eye of those around them. Others pout and stare down others in the line. Demanding a reaction in their pre-caffeine funk. I wonder if they’re more honest in a crowd? Do they play nice but who they really are is angry? Do they look comfortable in their skin because they are? No matter what they say, actions speak louder than words.

Especially in a crowd.