“She had pierced the numbing anonymity of the street, if only for a moment.”
From the young adult novel, Saturday, the Twelfth of October by Norma Fox Mazer:
“On an afternoon in October, walking home from school, Zan Ford played the eye game – her own secret invention, played for all it was worth. She couldn’t take the game lightly, she couldn’t take anything lightly…
“The eye game: Zan, walking down the sidewalk, looked straight into the eyes of a stranger picked out of the crowd. If eyes met eyes, if she was truly seen, then she had won. Her spirits soared. She had pierced the numbing anonymity of the street, if only for a moment.
“You, she said silently to a man approaching, you wearing the baggy blue pants, look at me. His hands were in his pockets, his hair was thinning; did he have a daughter her age? Did he look at his daughter and see the real person? Mister, look up. Come on! But the man, his eyes filmed, passed by.
“With one part of her she scoffed at herself. City kid, do you really think that with the mere force of your mind you can make strangers open their eyes? It was a game destined for failure – no one ever saw anyone on these hurried dirty streets. It was silly – it could even be dangerous – but she didn’t care! With every person chosen, in that split second before passing, she felt a little catch beneath her ribs, as if something important and unexpected were about to happen. Yet she knew that even on those rare days when her glance was met and returned, when eyes talked and she felt an almost frightening shock of pleasure reaching from stomach to throat – even then, nothing would come of it. But still she persisted.”
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