The Nature of Strangers

Intimate Darkness
Ryan Hardgrove

The ones you don’t know,
the strangers,
they make it easier to get by.
They do not know
anything about you,
so they are kind and pleasant,
and you reciprocate,
it comes so natural.

You see them,
on their way to some place
wonderfully unknown,
some place unlike any other place you have ever been.
You see them pumping gas
and eating lunch.
You see them waiting at the bus stop,
smoking cigarettes,
no cigarette tastes as good as
the one being smoked by a stranger
at the bus stop.

You see them going along
with their day,
and because it does not involve you
because it is all so wonderfully anonymous
it seems pleasant
it seems perfect

but we all know it is not
we all know what lies behind the curtains
we all know about the darkness

it is nice to watch the strangers
it is nice to not know them.


Ryan Hardgrove is currently wading through his late twenties as a feckless bartender and responsible father. He is also a writer and a musician. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his common law wife and their son.


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I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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