I sat at a table in the Lemongrass, a Thai restaurant, for two and a half hours last night. Couples came and went during those hours. Groups of friends; older folks, who bobbed and wove in time from years of matching step. The little waitress, shorter than the three-quarter wall flanking my table, scurried around with plates of fragrant spicy entrees and bowls of steaming rice. I ate my tofu and wrote, left alone except for the occasional offer of more hot water for my Oolong tea. I declined; it seemed weak enough and better tepid than thinner.
The gatherings around me cushioned me from the cold air drifting through the front door, from the tendrils of sadness which creep towards me when I lose my focus. I lowered my head and buried myself in the basil tofu dish before me. I browsed my blog entries, though what I sought in them I did not know. Winter approaches, bringing ice, and gloom, and cold unbroken except by piles of blankets. I held myself still amid the gatherings last evening; and after a while, I saw a silver head moving towards me on the other side of the wall. My heart lifted as a familiar face came around the corner. I closed the lid of my computer as my friend Penny slid into the chair across from me.
My solitude had become a gathering of its own. My heart soared. In the face of Penny’s radiance, how could it not?