I can't remember the last time I had lunch by myself. Where I am, there is always someone to take lunch with: family, friends, people from the office, people from the not-so-distant past dropping in to say that they're still around. I relish long lunches not so much for the food as for the conversation, the connection.
Yesterday, I found myself without a lunch partner. There was no one I could badger at the last minute. Besides, I don’t like eating in at the office. Not on someone’s desk, anyway, with pictures and perpetual smiles beaming beneath glass pads.
And so it was that I ended up in a corner table in a not-so-crowded restaurant, with a plate full of pasta, a thick slice of pizza and a bubbly glass of Coke. There were no familiar faces, no one to share the table with, and for an hour, it was just me.
As I leafed through Lesley Garner’s Everything I’ve Ever Done That Worked, I remembered countless by-myself lunches in the past: table-for-one affairs when I had all the time to read, to dawdle, to think up stories of and about people at the other tables. I remembered notes hastily scribbled on paper napkins.
That one hour was like revisiting a familiar almost forgotten place and discovering that I can always come back.