Fascinating. Special. And lovely in its way. The observer’s perch in a too-real world.

I don’t mind eating alone. I rather like it. My very sensual relationship with taste is often best served by a one-on-one experience rather than a ménage a trois. And there are added benefits…ones that remind me of the grace that is being a writer.

A couple sat at the table beside me in this close-in little French bistro. Clearly first-date country: the questions, the laughs, the lean-ins, the what-do-I-say-next…the art of “I’m interested.” Fascinating to observe the progress of this fledgling relationship—especially given my inexplicably less-than-stellar reception in Dating World, recently. The couple and I had some dear exchanges. They didn’t seem to mind my being so close; wasn’t a choice. As I got up to leave, the woman rose and embraced me…affection is glorious, even from a stranger, even if you’re not sure what prompted it.

The evening reminded me. Of the great gift of writerdom. Of deliberate separateness.

As we gather fruits of the human tree, we are immune to the things that sting. We share, in ways we could never express to a fellow human, the loveliness of a first encounter, of the dance of seduction, of pain and promise and joy. We celebrate awkwardness. We feel the twinge of not-quite. We watch love at its beginning and, sometimes, at its end. We do this innocently and without judgment. Apartness is a virtuous place.

Observerdom is the protection against loneliness. It takes us from isolation into the realm of Us. We do not shock. We are not disappointed. We do not fear silence. We know that there are only so many colors in life’s paintbox…but, oh, how magnificently they combine.

For the observer, life is ever full. The conversations are unpredictable. The possibilities are endless. The view is high and wide, the emotions are perfumed, the outcomes are unpredictable. We may not, except by happy accident, feel the human touch that we might long for, but the rest is glorious. This is the human universe. Welcome to the skyshow.

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