Sometimes I need to. Be away from people for awhile, but maybe watch them from a distance. Hunker down into my shell rather than embracing all that life sends my way.
Late this afternoon, I was hungry after a workout at the gym. I decided to go to Mai’s Café in Wortley Village, a funky area of London, full of cute shops and comfy restaurants, with a tiny library just down the street.
I walked into the itsy bitsy Mai’s and felt right at home. To the left of the front door was a two-person window table wedged in between two walls. If I was with a dinner partner, she would just have been able to squeeze past the table towards the chair. Immediately I knew it was perfect. But why?
I looked out on the world from my secluded niche, a window wall on the left and another one straight ahead. I smiled at my need to be protected and yet to see Londoners passing by on the sidewalk. I was a voyeur, and happy. The walls so near were comforting. I was friendly to the waitress as I ordered my pad thai but I really wanted to be alone, revel in the flavours and check out the sports section of the Toronto Sun on my phone.
The thought came: “I should be more ‘out there’, engaging with human beings.” But goodbye, dear thought. That wasn’t what Bruce needed at the moment. I didn’t want to hide myself under a blanket on my couch but nor did I want constant conversation. Just give me my little spot, please, and leave me alone. I’ll fantasize about the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’ll watch the infinite variety of folks out on the street, going from here to there. That will make me happy.
Near the end of my meal, I had a good conversation with Kai, my server. She told me I was funny. Assuming she meant “funny hah hah” rather than “funny ooo”, I smiled. Just a little bit of human interaction was all I needed. And the food was so good.
Tomorrow I’ll throw myself more fully into the arena. Today? Table for one, please.