I’ve spent most of my life alone. That’s not to say I’m a shut in. I find any excuse to go out in public and maybe have a chance encounter. What I mean by this is I don’t really have any close friends, and am not especially good at generally meeting people.
I spent a good amount of my college years at the bars, but most if the time it was just me and my book. I find this time stimulating and relaxing at the same time. There is an energy in a busy restaurant or bar that keeps me alert, focused. I feel it is a form of meditation, a skill that I seemed to have cultivated early in life.
When I was younger I used to sleep over at Nick’s house. He was and still is one of my closest friends. One of those people you could call and would bail you out of jail no questions asked. See, Nicks house as opposed to mine was a constant buzz. His mother was a foster mom who opened her home and her heart to any and all. The downside to that is there was constant noise and commotion. Especially early in the morning.
It was those mornings that I learned how to “drown out the noise”. I was a teenager then, and we all know teenagers like to sleep in. Most never wake before 10am, while the rest of the house has had breakfast, had a jog, and mowed the lawn by then. It was an imperative to kill the noise, me being a teenager and all. I don’t really know how I did it, but I did. I was able to somehow absorb the noise.
Throughout high school (at that point I went to Perkins not being able to drink and all) and into college I kept this practice of a spring the noise and funneling in into concentration. In college I studied not at the library, which was easily as loud and rambunctious, but at the bar. To this day I still go to a restaurant or bar to get my alone time. Its my way if alone time, but it’s better than drinking alone.
If you see me at a bar reading a book, feel few to say hey, but don’t be offended if I don’t carry a conversation. I’m meditating.