For a long time, I sat and watched.
People eagerly rushed to the well-lit stage and spoke their bit. Many just shared what someone else had -and again, and again.
From the spectator’s rows I heard and felt bodies rise and seats flop-flop closed. Soon, I realized the audience was few; the performers were most.
Envy set in. I want attention. I want fame. I want love, respect, and acceptance. I finally rose and joined the stage-bound queue. I stood quietly behind a grandmother, a pre-teen, and a retiree.
Then, it was my turn. Shy, though, I peeked around the curtain. “Come out,” a friend encouraged. “Share what you have made.”
I scampered quickly to the fore; I held up my opinions and waited.
My circle of fellow stage-friends complimented, and encouraged. Smatterings of applause came from family still seated beyond the stage lights.
I smiled and grew more confident. Recognition felt good. I returned to the audience, sated.
My seat creaked as I frequently leaned forward to applaud other performers. What brave souls to simply speak, I thought. And surely, they will return the approval.
Encouraged and emboldened, I performed again. In the warming spotlights and comments, I spoke freely and assumed affection. I chanced the stage many times, basking in attention.
Today, I stepped confidently forward, then hesitated. My step echoed. My speech resounded hollowly. I squinted out to an empty, dark room.
Where is everyone?