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A Little Like Can go a long way

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It’s morning.
I’m in Taipei’s subway.
I’ve just squeezed out of the train.
I’m enjoying breathing and moving my limbs.
So many people. I swear there’re more and more of us.
I’ve been in Taiwan for two and a half years and I find myself thinking, “It wasn’t like this when I first came here.”
It probably was.
I’m walking towards my exit, then something happens.
A shift.
I feel like I’m the only person walking in this direction.
I’m the stubborn ant, refusing to fall in line.
The wave going against the tide.
An ocean of bodies, waves and waves of them, appear in my field of vision.
Where did you all come from?
I’m in awe.
There are people here.
I can see them.
I can really see them.
“Look at you all.”
I can feel a liquid heat rising, from my feet to my chest.
To my throat.
I swallow and bite my lip and suppress a smile.
I’ve seen those who are smiling for no apparent reason; passersby stare at them from the corners of their eyes.
“Just ignore them… don’t stare.”
I’ve even done that myself.
No trust in a causeless love.
But people aren’t noticing me.
I’m hiding this swelling of emotion like a pro.
Every movement made, every blink, smile, frown, crease of the forehead, you name it, it all absorbs my attention, like I’m watching a flower bloom for the first and last time.
I’m in love.
An inexhaustible ocean of it.
The lump in the throat moves north.
I need to control this.
It’s in the eyes now.
I take a deep inhale, and an extra long exhale.
Now I’m outside, still swimming.
So is everybody else…
But they don’t know it.
Somebody smiles at me.
Keep walking, don’t stare.
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