Alone | Mark Lindsay

One of the best things about cell phones is that I can now talk to myself in public. Not that many years ago it was considered odd to have a conversation with oneself. Now people are talking aloud seemingly no one just about everywhere. True, they usually have some kind of Bluetooth earpiece attached to to them and they are, theoretically, talking to an other human being somewhere. But, who knows for sure?

I don't wear a Bluetooth device. Nor do I enjoy cell-phone conversations. But, I've considered getting a cheap earpiece just so I can talk to myself without being self-conscious. I figure if it's okay that everyone is jabbering into cyberspace it's perfectly normal to jabber to oneself. After all, most of us are in our own little world anyway.

It's easy to spot people in their own little world. I love going into public spaces and finding people who seem alone in thought, daydream or preoccupation. If one is a photographer one needs to be quick. The moments are fleeting. Usually some kind of external stimulus prods our dreamers back into the social universe. Often the click of a camera shutter is all that it takes to jolt them.

I feel connected to those lost in their own universe. It makes me feel that we really are all the same—inextricably linked yet very much alone. Seeing others in this state sends me off into my own little world. I wonder about them; their life, their history, their story. And If they start talking I secretly hope that it's just a conversation with themselves and that there's no silly Bluetooth gadget hanging off their ear.