Going out to eat alone makes me feel so goddamn lonesome. It’s silly, I know. I commend those of you who actually enjoy it. You’re stronger than I.
Personal confessions aside, over the course of the last month or so my survival as an overfed American has required me to grab a table for one a couple of times a week. I still don’t like it, but I’m growing more comfortable with the scenario. I’ve found it helps to have reading material and if all else fails, the iPhone can be a trusty companion. While I’ve always frowned upon excessive cell phone use in public, I’ve made exceptions when taking myself out to dine or drink. Last night I was in this position.
After some small talk with the bartender, Cristi and I began corresponding via text. It was nice. I got lost in the back and forth for roughly 15 minutes and then she eventually trailed off. It was bedtime in Missouri. I put the phone down and realized I was surrounded by crowded tables of people—groups of friends, dates, reunions, etc—and they too were all staring at their phones.
I sat there and considered the possibility that the people surrounded by other people might be just as lonely I was. Why else would they take their friends for granted? I suppose we’re all looking for something and the warm glow of our phones can be hard to resist.
I put my device away and ate my pizza while the social circles around me churned—tapping digital keyboards, taking digital pictures and posting digital updates. I was content and fed as another day came to an end.