One time, maybe a year ago, I was walking in Mira Mesa and I was at an intersection with a couple of bicyclists. They were wearing white short-sleeved shirts and dark, narrow ties over dark slacks. “How you doing today?” one of them asked me.
Just because they’re recruiters for some organization I have no interest in doesn’t mean I should be impolite. “Not bad,” I said, which was close enough to the truth. “How are you guys?” Well, of course they probably get treated pretty rudely much of the time, so the moment I didn’t shut the metaphorical door in their face they launched into their pitch. We’ve all heard the pitch, and generally we all deal with it by ignoring it. I was nodding politely when one of them said something like, “If you accept Jesus into your life you will never be alone again.”
I couldn’t conceal my reaction. “That sounds horrible,” I said with a visible shudder. I don’t think I offended them, at least they probably weren’t offended until later when they had time to think about it, but the one-sided conversation came to a crashing halt. No one had expected that reaction, least of all me, and the sincerity of my sentiment was beyond question. I wasn’t trying to put them off; I was truly horrified at the thought of never being alone.
Holidays act as an aloneness amplifier. Sure, I like being around family for the holidays, but as far as solitude bang for buck goes, you can’t beat Thanksgiving and Christmas. You are aloner on those days than on any others.
I went out walking today, in the sharp cold sunshine. I thought of buying a scarf, it was a good day for one, but much like my days on the road there are times when motion will not yield to practicality or need. Where I went was unimportant. My intention was to find a nice spot to grab a meal, but nothing appealed. Well, that’s not true, many places looked interesting, and tasty, and warm, and friendly, but I found a reason to pass each one by. On my return I went to the store and bought some supplies to construct a modest Thanksgiving meal here in the apartment. Spaghetti. I also bought some cold cuts that might be turkey, but I haven’t tried them yet.
Technically, it’s not Thanksgiving here anymore, but It’s still Thanksgiving over there, and it’s an over there holiday. So happy Thanksgiving, everyone, everywhere. May you find yourself in good company and high spirits. I know I am.