My mum and I met at our favourite restaurant the other day for a catch up. We sat at a table next to an old man dining alone on tagliatelle and white wine. My mum is great at striking up a conversation and we were soon hearing of his recent move to town and his favourite lunch stops. He seemed far more interested in talking than eating and told us how he dines alone every day, yet no one speaks to him. “I live alone and don’t really talk to anyone, but here you are!” he grinned.
I was so struck by how little contact this man had, and how hungry he was for a chat. We are social beings, and our connections with others are such a big part of who we are, it’s easy to feel isolated without this. I love time by myself, especially in a coffee shop, watching the world go by. So I usually assume that others on their own are happiest left that way. But maybe sometimes it worth leaning over and saying ‘hi’, if only to see someone grin.)