I don’t have many memories with friends as a kid. In fact, I only had a couple of regular friends. The friendships in school often ended right after I made my exit every day and came home. Eventually, however, I made friends who have stuck by me and stuck their necks out for me for more years than I can count. I have reciprocated the effort cordially.
Still, it isn’t rare for me to sit by myself in a corner of some café, at my place or in my balcony, or even on a bench on the sidewalk, provided I’m tired enough. Often, however, someone gives me platitudes about learning to spend time with myself. They seem to be all the rage lately, especially since contextless one-liners became popular.
Of course, I don’t go out of my way to correct them or share my story or fix them, for the lack of a better word. Most people, on most days, just wanted to be good so they often said or repeated things that were inherently good, or at least, broadly accepted. I didn’t correct them because they meant well.
But from where I’m sitting, staring at the blue, rainy evening outside the glass door of this tiny café I sometimes spend my evenings in, I can tell you, with all honesty, even those in our tribe—the happy loners, the solitary souls, the wanderers, use whatever fancy phrase you want—got tired of ourselves.
On some days, the instrumental ambient music, the flawless service, the great coffee, and the cacophony of life around us did nothing for us. Our own company became oddly lacklustre. The routine became drab and the days became lifeless. On some days, all anyone ever wanted was someone familiar to sit across from, and maybe share a meal with. Not to talk much, not to laugh a lot, or do anything out of the ordinary.
Sometimes, we just wanted to comment on the rain outside and say, “it is so unexpectedly cold today, it gets cold sometimes; I’m glad we’re inside, together.”