To add to the change, I ordered a cappuccino - I normally have a double espresso. I situated myself at a table outside, as far away from the multitude of dog-people on the patio, and sat down with my internet news and my heavily armed iPod. I was ready for an hour or so of relaxing and reading about the Taliban, the recession and health care peppered in with a bit of celebrity gossip. Celebrity gossip just has not been the same since Lindsay Lohan tamed her drugging ways.
I skimmed my first article, reading about Ramadan and how people in Egypt are celebrating while John Lennon's Imagine played on the iPod. The headline "The Country has Fallen to Decadence" captured me and I drifted for a minute, just how nice that would be if the country were to actually fall to decadence. Half way though the second article, I noticed something. I felt strange. I stopped reading and paid closer attention to this little nagging feeling, what was it? Then it became apparent, it was loneliness. I was feeling lonely.
I often crave solitude and rarely feel lonely or sad so I put down my internet and embraced this feeling. I listened to the voice inside me as it begged to be heard. Leonard Cohen's In My Secret Life played on the iPod as I watched annoying preppy couples and their dumb dogs sit down with their coffee in front of me. I reflected upon missed opportunities in the past and the limitations that age will bring in the future. Just as the sadness was fleeting, I picked my internet back up and decided to chronicle this feeling.
I felt shame and I hesitated as I started to type. We are not supposed to admit that we feel alone or that we fear that we'll be alone in the future. Particularly as a woman, a single, childless woman fast approaching 40, we are supposed to brave the future pretending all the while that the thought of being alone doesn't frighten us or at least make us wonder about decisions we made in the past.
The iPod battery just died and some fat dude attempts to sit next to me wearing a Bears shirt. The big logo on his orange shirt accentuates his huge gut, my face is oozing with disgust as his belly nearly knocks over the table. I remember it is Sunday in Chicago and return to my my internet news, Black Hawk crash kills two US service men in Iraq while unemployment soars back home. I keep my headphones on to save myself from the dog people though I am slightly smitten with this fellow Woody who sits beside me.
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