You want to be noticed in a very big way just so you can scream to the world so they won’t notice you anymore: “Stop looking at me! Let me be!” And then, you can fold up your chair, tuck it under your arm, and walk back inside, where nobody can see you and your life can become anonymous again. As if nothing at all had happened. You aren’t special. You aren’t old enough to be special. Not special enough for everybody to be hounding you like this, asking you questions. You didn’t even do anything. Maybe this is what being famous feels like, but you aren’t famous. Not for being good, and you’re not notorious for any bad qualities that have manifested themselves beyond your person. In other words, you don’t rob banks, as if somebody your age really robs banks, or, maybe this is more realistic for a pre-bank-robbing notorious kind of person. You don’t throw rocks from atop an overpass at passing cars for thrills. You aren’t anyone but a ten-year-old kid. And the more you don’t say anything, the more they ask. And they keep on asking, even after you’re standing there, tears overflowing your tiny eyes, your head shaking, your little hands knotted up in tight fists. That’s when you figure it all out on your own. That the best way to get people to leave you alone is to have them talk about you, but not to you. So you’ve figured it out, that you have to make yourself noticed – not just noticed, actually, but have people stop what they’re doing entirely, to have all of their senses focused on you, and then after that, so they call one another up on the phone. People in five other houses can see you in your backyard. They’ll watch. It’s only natural to look out the kitchen window. Dinner time. You know they’re watching. So you walk outside with a lawn chair, and you go to the very back of your yard, and you sit down, long enough that anybody watching is going to be wondering why you’re sitting there, what is he doing? And that’s the very moment you stand up and turn around and around and around in a circle, and scream, scream to them, and to the rest of the world you can’t see, with all of the lung power you can muster: “Stop looking at me!” And now, go inside to hide. The shadows are friendly. But even inside, even in the shadows, you still quiver, you’re still shaking, you’re still screaming, though in a whisper, “Let me be. Please, let me be.”
"Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area."
-- Nadine Gordimer