In my reckless youth, living up to the cliche by searching the vast map of Europe for myself, I never had a problem being alone, free to witness or interact as I pleased.
More to wit, I once relished such exercises.
I could fall in love with a stranger and live out my life without saying a word or lifting a finger. I could fall into the shadows and watch stories unfold, or develop my own.
Somewhere along the line that stopped. With little warning and even less fanfare, going out with others became a chore, unthinkable alone.
The outside world didn’t change, but sadly, I had.
But then, lets be clear about something; having worked so diligently at honing my skill and rank of functioning alcoholic, sitting alone at a dark bar, staring into my old fashioned, was an entirely different exercise.
I could drink alone like a professional. What I could not do is sit down at a table for one and dine alone.
When I sat at a bar I was never alone. I wasn’t in a bar, I was in my drink—in my mind. I was at home.
Dining alone, however was an altogether different thing.
Perhaps it harkened back those lonely moments, sitting at a high school locker, a brown paper bag and book my only lunchtime companions. Such invisible spotlights can be rather blinding.
Perhaps I didn’t like the reminder that I was, indeed, alone. The reminder that the only better half I possessed was merely the left or right side of myself.
Or perhaps I simply didn’t like eating alone.
“How many will be dining tonight?”