Solitude Lost

I really can be sociable.   As I’ve aged, I’ve gotten better at small talk, even in situations I wouldn’t choose.  I’ve become more open-minded about people, too, less inclined  to decide based on a first impression whether I’d like  to talk to you or not.  In part, that’s been due to joining some men’s groups with a diverse membership that got me out of my element … or more accurately, taught me that my element was broader than I’d previously thought.  But part of me has always been a loner.  As a boy, I took long walks alone in the woods and as a younger adult, while I liked the social side of running marathons, it was the long, solitary training runs I loved.  I’m not running any more but I still value solitude.  I need solitude.

Friday morning, I was parked in my usual place in a shady corner of Yorba Regional Park, writing. Suddenly, an Ark-Mobile (that’s curmudgeonese for a Suburban) rounded the corner and parked on my right, 18.7 inches from my car.  Mind you, at 8:30 am, less than 1% of the parking places are occupied and there are plenty of shady ones available.   I shot him my best dirty look … set to stun severely, not kill … but he must have had his shields up because he remained oblivious.   I started my engine and moved on to one of those other shady spots … not my spot but better than losing my morning solitude.

Here’s my question.  Is it weird that this bugs the crap out of me?  Rationally, I know that many people are just oblivious to the presence of others … to them, one parking place is as good as any other.  I also think that a sizable percentage of the American populace never gives solitude a second thought and another percentage avoids it like leprosy.  They’re unlikely to see me sitting there and think, Oh, he probably wants some solitude.  I’ll just park somewhere else. I’m also convinced there are gregarious parkers who find some comfort parking near other cars, probably the same people who take an adjacent table in Border’s Cafe when it’s nearly empty.   I suppose I’m giving this entirely too much thought.  But … if you happen to be in Yorba Regional Park one of these days and you see an old bald guy sitting in a gray Acura, please park at least two spaces away.   Four or five would be better.  Thank you.

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3 Comments on “Solitude Lost”

  1. granny1947 Says:

    Good Morning Bud…I remember once wanting to sit on my Dad’s lap…he pushed me away and said…give me my three feet of space. I was hurt but,now, as an adult I know where he was coming from…I often need my three feet of space too!!!

  2. territerri Says:

    I’m with you on this one. I purposely go to the gym early in the morning whenever possible because there are fewer people there. I love when the treadmills are empty of people, except for a few. I like to find a treadmill that is far from any other runners or walkers. So the other day, imagine my frustration when a guy decides to saddle up on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO ME!

  3. undividing Says:

    I completely understand – I too find it extremely difficult to have my solitude disturbed. Especially when you have a pattern, such as your parking spot, that is usually a “safe” place. I’m living with quite a few of my family members at the moment, and that is one of the things I miss the most – the solitude.

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