Without even realising it, I’ve taken to eating out alone. I’ve just been on my second lunch date with myself in a week.
The first time I was entirely alone, just me, my note book and my thoughts. The second I was with my son who wanted to see some fish but who then fell asleep soon after we arrived at the aquarium.
So having hardly seen any, I decided I’d go and eat some. Shellfish to be precise. Prawns and squid to be specific. Well after hearing hoards of happy families screaming, “It’s Nemo! It’s Nemo!” and then, suddenly remembering the opening scene where an as-yet-unhatched clownfish loses his mum-to-be to the jaws of a barracuda, I thought the best way to deal with things was to take the little aquatic buggers down one-by-one.
‘I’ll teach my son that fish are evil little bastards, that they should only appear on the dinner table and not in children’s films’, I thought to myself, ‘Help make sure Finding Frigging Nemo doesn’t find its way onto his Christmas list.’
Anyway, where was I? Memory of a goldfish recently.
Oh yes, eating alone. Lots of people have invited me to lunch recently (thanks all) so I really needn’t be on my own, but I’ve suddenly realised that I prefer not to always have company. That sometimes, when it feels like my wife should be sat across from me, I’m simply not looking for a substitute. So when I confirm that it will indeed just be me dining today, I don’t feel lonely, desperate, inadequate or like I’m cutting a sad figure just sitting there alone. I just feel like I’m not with my wife.
And I feel like I want to see the empty space across from me. That I want to take this rare opportunity to be alone to think about her, remember her and really really miss her.