Other Lonely People

I went to a nearby beach a couple of days ago with a girl I’d just met to play a game of ultimate frisbee. I hadn’t ever played before so I was nervous to let down a team of people who had been at it for a while. – This isn’t where I’m headed with this blog so long story short just know that I did play and ultimate frisbee is fu*king awesome. When we got there I stood on the beach amongst some other people watching the first game. A guy standing nearby came up beside me and struck up a conversation. He was dressed in a button down and dress pants as though he had come from work and looked a little older than I was. My very first thought was that something about him seemed lonely. After a separation lonliness takes on new meaning. There’s a whole new depth to it I never could of understood before. I never thought about lonliness the way I do now and since travelling I’ve realized human contact has been something that a lot of times I took for granted. While I enjoy my alone time it took this life change to realize – as my bestfriend had often told me though I didn’t usually listen – I am a social person. I dislike many people but I enjoy human interaction in it’s simplest form, conversation, a highfive, a smile. I never really thought about all of these things before.

I felt like this guy on the beach had that same depth the moment he introduced himself and asked if I had played ultimate frisbee before. We ended up making small talk for a while as the regulars played their first game. In between cheering when wicked catches were made, he ended up telling me he separated from his wife in January. I thought, as I often do, what are the odds, then, also as I often do, I thought, totally makes sense. He apologized immediately after saying it, said it was strange to tell a stranger and he didn’t know why he had brought that up. It was strange, but this whole process is strange, there’s so many feelings and occurances. I don’t bring up my separation to people until the time comes, if at all, I don’t like it to always be something I have to get in to. I made the decision to not bring it up here then immediately changed my mind. ‘I understand’ I said. He looked confused, ‘you understand what?’ he asked. ‘I understand why you told me.’ I explained I had separated from my husband just under a year ago and was also awaiting divorce (as was he – there’s a one year time frame for this in Canada). Relief was, I think, what came across his face. ‘Oh. Wow, really?…You look…like…happy’ he said. This was more a question on his part, what he really wanted to ask was how I was here on the beach, with a bunch of people I didn’t know, functioning, looking normal and happy. I said I still had bad days, I was trying to move forward in the same way I imagined he was.

It was nice to connect with someone else, in person, at almost the same stage of their divorce as myself. We sat on the beach watching the game for a while, the understanding between us was established immediately and neither of us needed to explain further. Maybe the universe will have us meet at a beach again in a couple of years from now at a whole new place in our lives – who knows?

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