There’s something welcoming about those hours just after midnight. The city sleeps, and yet here I am, awake and alone. I stand at my balcony, searching for some sign that there is anything living out there besides me.

Sometimes I look up at the stars and I wonder what they’d look like when viewed from a place far from here. Would they remain the same, an anchor to this life inescapable? Or would they be different enough to help me forget? How many other people are sat at their computers right now, alone, searching for some way to communicate with a kindred spirit?

I welcome the night because it’s the only companion I have in these hours just after midnight. Sensible people are in bed, minds switched off. Oh to have that luxury! I could try sleeping, I guess. It’s just so hard to stem the pitiless tide of images which relentlessly bombard my brain. a million images, a million sounds, crammed simultaneously into each instant. They’re as impossible to process as they are to ignore. And then every so often I see a face, a fleeting glimpse of a smile. Sometimes I recognise it. Sometimes it’s new. Are these people I’ve met? People I’ve yet to meet? Or are they merely just my brain trying to conjure up some sort of companionship to stave off the despair?

Even when I slip through the veil into the dream place, there’s no respite. My dreams are vivid and confusing. I wake up several times a night. After I finally separate the dream from reality I am left to ponder what it means. I’m usually no closer to a solution before I drift off again, a slave to the visions from beyond.

And so here I sit, talking to everyone who spares the time to read this. But nobody talks back.

Is there anybody out there?


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