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The city is a good place. The night lights, the night fun spots, the great restaurants, it’s all very exciting to be in close proximity with. That is if you have the company share the excitement with.

I’m sitting here in my car in a parking lot sipping on some pina colada while I wait for the traffic jam to ease up so I can head back home – oh, plus when I left home hours earlier we had just been blessed with a power cut so am in no hurry to get back – and as I sit here, this man walks up with what looks like ready to eat food he has just bought from the supermarket kitchen. He sets down his packed food and juice on a table-high ledge of pavement in the parking lot, and gets busy having his food. The big exciting city suddenly looks like the big bad lonely city as I stare at this man through my windscreen. I’ve always thought of eating by oneself as a very lonely affair, and I confess I have teared up a few times when I found myself in a room by myself, roommates gone (say at uni)or family away, with me sitting there eating alone as though I haven’t a friend in the whole wide world.

I realise this gentleman may have been on his way somewhere, say to meet some friends but had missed lunch and being 9pm he wanted to grab a quick bite before setting out. Or perhaps he’s a bachelor and that’s his usual routine. Maybe he got dumped by his girlfriend, hates company right now yet feels too depressed to be by himself and have a meal in the solitude of his own home so he chooses the parking lot, in a busy part of town, to feel the buzz and noise of other people’s lives so that he can be reminded that he lives and he’s human despite the emptiness he feels inside.

Whatever the scenario, whatever his story, this man here, eating his food by himself in the parking lot appeared so lonely to me I felt sorry for him. It’s a big bad world.