It feels like I’m walking down the foot-path. I’m watching my feet, and the feet of the crowd around me. We’re all in perfect sync, except it’s easy for them. I have to concentrate.
Then, for just a moment, a dark shadow skitters across the cement in front of me. It’s small, and I might have even imagined it. It might not even be anything at all – but the point is that I look away. I look away from my feet, and I stumble a little. Just a small mis-step. Tiny, really.
When I regain my balance I look down again, I realise that everyone else is half a step ahead of me. I’m out of sync.
Worse yet? People are starting to notice.
I walk faster, and trip and stumble over the smooth pavement in front of me, forcing myself forward, even though I’ve dropped my backpack, and my shoe is half-off, and I think my hair-tie is back half a block. No matter what I do, though, I can’t seem to catch up with everyone else.
For a moment – a day, maybe two, I stop even trying. I let the fog close in and the street around me gets dark. It’s almost a relief, after all this light, and glaring brightness. A welcome respite on my eyes.
Eventually I remember where I was walking to though. It really seems worth getting there. I look up again, and find the crowd again. I make another super-human effort to get back in sync. Some-times it works.
Then I’m left looking at my feet again. Walking down the same footpath that everyone else is walking down, desperately trying not to lose the beat again.