The Human Parts Open Thread: Letter to a Stranger
Human Parts

Dear girl at the city café,

You used to smile at strangers, with a warmth I’d never seen in all my thirty-one years. You would immediately know our names as we approached the counter and would greet us with a shy tilt of the head and a look of recognition, so that we all turned to you. For the few seconds when we made eye contact, we would forget our demanding bosses and the crowded city streets and think only of hot coffee and smiles.

What happened to you?

Now you look like the rest of us. You are grey. Your eyes look down. You’ve grown quiet. You’d rather be anywhere but here. Have you absorbed our collective miseries, one office worker after another slowly draining your joie de vivre, or is it something entirely unconnected with us? Can we help?

Perhaps you need a holiday, or someone to pay for your art. Or maybe someone to hold your hand — not me though. I’m just a face in the crowd.

You might not know it, but you’ve given us brief moments of happiness to fill the void in our dreary work days. I hope you find a much greater happiness to fill yours.

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