Allow your eyes to wander around a city bus between stops. Do it for yourself. Do it for fun. Whatever. You may notice what you think is a look of quiet desperation on the faces of many of its passengers. You will turn away and think "Man, do I feel lucky to be living an interesting life" and you will feel incredibly good about yourself for a moment, until you realize that the look is painted on your face as well.

Who are we to judge the quiet desperation of strangers? And how can we assume that we know them at a glance? We don't, not unless the glance is one of those special soul-searching eye-locking glances that can scare the shit out of you. Maybe Henry David Thoreau was a whole lot wiser than I am (well, ok, that's kind of true), but I don't think is was right for him to judge the quiet masses as a whole. Most men (and women, obviously) lead lives that would surprise us if we saw them from the window of a coffee shop, full of ups and downs, full of untold stories that would burn the air with their intensity. I know I do.