Why should you notice me?

Why should you notice me?

I need help, but who are you to care? I’m just another faceless body frozen in the crowd when you’re driving on the streets or shopping in the stores. My voice is just a moan in the sea of voices, splashing against your island of self as you tune me out. Is it necessary that you recognize me as someone deserving of empathy? Why expend that effort? My life only intersects with yours at random junctures, and even then we only make eye contact to determine who has the right of way.

You. You always have the right of way.

But does it matter? It’s trivial, right? You have your own issues to deal with. Why bother carrying someone else’s struggle when your hands clutch your own burdens?

I’ve been standing over here trying to get your attention. I cleared my throat and offered “Excuse Me” and “Pardon Me” and “Could I have a moment?” while you looked the other way. Turned up your headphones. Flipped to the next page in the finance section. Got on a call. Made your power moves.

Why should you notice me?

Is a problem shared a problem doubled, or a problem halved? They didn’t teach that in any algebra class I took, but I find myself wrestling with that problem more than any transitive property of equality.

And You and I are not equal – but is that any reason to notice me? I would hope that it is.

Because since you ignored my pleas, my cries for help, the subtle signs that aid was welcome, encouraged, and even desired, I can’t help but feel my methods of communication leave something to be desired.

So I gotta show out.

I gotta switch up my vernacular and patterns of speech to disrupt your flow. Your evening drive is now a traffic jam of verbalized frustration. Your serene island is swamped by winds of change. The floor is mine, and you a prisoner of my spectacle. My slang is grating to your ears, my rhythm alien to your notions of conformity.

You ain’t notice me before, but you gonna bear witness now.