Only in the US have I seen an entire coffee shop filled with people alone and at their computers. Seeking human contact and warmth, yet immersed in their own worlds.
Coffee shops have sprouted in on every corner San Francisco, just like in Europe, where there are bars every 4 feet, but not so much for the lonely. I must admit that I’m also one of those who seek companionship amongst strangers, simply to feel part of the world.
I can spend days without leaving home and fall fast into that routine, treasuring that alone time but knowing all too well that it’s not good for me, because those days could easily turn into months, so I make myself go out and join the world in the midst of strangers even if only for a short while.
I don’t exchange a word except with the person that takes my order, and somehow that’s more than enough. Sitting quietly there, with a group of strangers, soothes me and brings me that sense of belonging we all need. I may only stay 15 minutes but that’s all it takes.