Posted by VERITAS
In a state of loneliness as evening falls, my MacBook Pro in my shoulder pack, I leave my apartment where I’ve spent most of the day in a combination of modest accomplishment — answering and writing emails and Facebook messages, cooking, folding laundry and putting it into drawers, doing more laundry — and working on a long (about ninety page) short story I’m behind on, want absolutely to finish by the start of spring, and, towards that end, want to send as soon as possible to a friend who’s agreed to give feedback on it.

As I still haven’t gotten the draft in a condition ready for sending to the friend, I’ve decided to continue working on the story into the night, thereby forgoing two evening salsa Meetups, at least one of which I’d hoped to be able to attend if for no other reason than to give myself the opportunity of lively, present moment social interaction which my day, as I’ve so far conducted it, hasn’t afforded. This decision has induced a decided feeling of loneliness.

Added to this, my state of loneliness is rendered even more acute by what is, in large measure, the basis of the story’s subject matter: lost love — a woman, in particular, who loved me a great, great deal several decades ago but whose love I threw away, rejected, and now often regret having done so. A woman I could imagine myself, had I not rejected her, having been able to share a contented married existence with — that I could have shared such an existence with, by now, for decades … if only I hadn’t thrown her love away!

In such a downcast state, I ride the train to Azabu-Juban, proceeding from the station towards a burrito restaurant with a spacious table layout, casual, stay-as-long-as-you-like coffeehouse ambience, and available wall sockets to continue working on the story.

But then I find my loneliness and accompanying depression deepening further when I enter the restaurant to discover that my favorite server — a college-age woman who always likes to prepare my burrito and who I suspect may have a crush on me (a father complex perhaps?), so eagerly does she place the contents I request onto the tortilla; so assiduously does she wrap and fold the tortilla around the contents — isn’t there. A woman I find attractive, whom the incautiously romantic part of me could, despite the Grand-Canyon-wide age gap, easily fall in love with.

Still, I’m somehow able, despite my mood, after consuming a tasty burrito, to get into a zone with my writing and manage to make some significant progress on the story. But when approximately three hours later I leave the restaurant, I suddenly feel quite naked and the loneliness returns with a double force — detestable!

Then, as if to top things off, after buying sweets (a pumpkin-flavored muffin and two lemon cookies) takeout at Eat More Greens for at-home comfort food, I find myself experiencing heart palpitations as I cross the street to the Azabu Juban Starbucks for tea and some web surfing to avoid going home so early. Writing this now, back home, I’m grateful, at least, they were just palpitations, not a heart attack.