Does my solitude scare you? It Should.
In spirit of Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Still I Rise”
I am a traveler. A free spirit. A well dressed hippie who always has a book for a date and her journal as a night cap.
I realize its bit strange being young and spending long hours, weeks, and months by myself. Dancing in unfamiliar rain and smiling while thanking all the genuine strangers that greet me on my adventures.
The guy at the gas station told me the best store to buy local.
The girl at the front desk gave me a “procrastinator’s discount” for checking in last minute.
The Chef at the Inn made me a cheese plate because I arrived after the restaurant had closed.
There is a local Blue-Grass band that plays every other Tuesday and I am in luck because today is Tuesday.
The guy sitting next to me on the plane gave me a few drink coupons and the housekeeper gave me extra bottles of water because I told her a joke.
The bouncer waved my cover charge because I was by myself.
And I got an upgrade to a box seat because the customer service lady said “Oh, it should be fine, its just you right?”
I realize this whole scene is abnormal.
I mean a pretty girl like me should have a fella on my arm; someone who holds my hand when I cross a busy street in midtown/Chinatown/Little Italy etc. etc.
Or helps with directions when my GPS messes up as I navigate a stubborn West Virginian mountain.
I understand that I shouldn’t walk on the beach late at night or watch a sunset while I eat my grilled salmon on the same balcony where you and your wife are enjoying the ocean front. I have some nerve.
How dare I interrupt your early morning swim with my meditation.
“Is she still here?” You half whisper/ half hiss at your drunk significant other.
Again, how dare I reserve a room in the same expensive lodging as you?
While my “Do not Disturb” is quite literal and yours fancies the blaring of late night mundane television.
“Is she having breakfast alone?, you ask your S/O once again with a mixture of envy and confusion.
Earlier that night, you attempted to ruin my meditative moment by staring at me and my corner table with the impeccable view.
“But we have the same view”, I thought.
Unfortunately, you were too interested in my seemingly lonesome table to notice the glare of the moon on the harbor.
It was quite beautiful, I am sorry you missed it.
Go ahead and elbow me again while I finish up my last writing assignment that determines my livelihood.
Order me a shot of whiskey (which I do not drink) and insist that I take it because you’re drunk and wealthy and I remind you of a struggling poet who is too pretty to be at this restaurant alone.
“Mira donde es tu novio?” You interrupt my few minutes of salsa dancing.
I respond with “Mejor solo que mal acompanado”. Pues, I will call you when they play The Bachata, papi.
I understand we are staying at the same hotel but I reserved the room for one and you know those king beds are notorious for their jealousy.
“Don’t worry one day you will find him”, the sweet older woman sitting next to me at the symphony on New Years Eve said to me as the guy beside me continued to stare while his date looked down in disappointment.
Eh, first dates aren’t always fun. We’ve all been there. I get it.
Its funny I never told her I had troubling finding him.
In fact, I think I may have even been dating someone at the time. I don’t remember.
Anyhow, Its strange.
I get it. Its 2016, how dare an attractive, young woman roam these dangerous streets alone?
How dare I exude such confidence and not validate your projections.
You would like my mom. She just called and lectured me about my preference to travel alone.
“You’re going to die alone and no one will ever know like your uncle”, she urged.
He died from a heart attack at the gym by the way. There were plenty of people around.
“Mom, I am staying at the Westin in Backbay, The Boston Police department would notify you if something happened, I promise”.
In other news, grandma called again and asked the same question she asked me yesterday,
“Are you with anyone or by yourself”.
I disappointed her once again. This time in Somali.
“Maya, keli ayaan ahay” (no, I am alone).
Somehow, “Yo solo” sounds much better.
I turn the corner back to my hotel.
“Is she here alone?”
I hear a whisper behind me.
“But she’s such a pretty girl”
Oh screw it! I wonder if they started playing The Bachata yet?