Hermits, Unite!

More or Less

Sarah Totton
Nov 21, 2020 · 3 min read
Photo by Kyle Glenn at Unsplash

We hermits need to stick together.

From a distance, of course.

Ever since the lockdown, no one’s calling us antisocial.

We are now socially responsible.

(Asocially responsible.)

People shouldn’t assemble in groups of more than 10, you say?

No problem.

I congregate exclusively in groups of one.

Erfatz is my best friend. I haven’t spoken to him in 6 years. He is very low-maintenance.

Brian used to be my friend, but he wanted to talk to me once a year, and I’m not comfortable with that level of intimacy.

Brian had a visitor to his hermitage last year. That visitor was thinking about becoming a hermit. He enjoyed Brian’s hermitage so much that he invited one of his friends to join them. That friend invited another friend, and so on and so on. Soon, Brian was living with fifteen other hermits.

PSA: Hermitages are not training wheels for communes.

You either grasp the eremitic life (figuratively) or you don’t, viz:


Members attending: 1

Meeting began: 10:00 AM

Member proposed a motion to carry on hermitting.

Motion carried unanimously.

Meeting ended: 10:02 AM


Hermit1765: I’m all out, and I need to start a fire. Anyone got some?

Hermit2001: I’ve got extra. I’ll put some beside the big boulder next to the river. Don’t come before 5 PM or I might still be there.

HERMIT CLUBHOUSE has no door. Actually, it’s just a big rock. You can sit on it if you want. It seats one. Just don’t stay there long. I might want a turn, and I’m not going to ask you to leave, because to do that I’d have to speak to you. And I like to preserve my voice for swearing at the pickle jar when I can’t get the lid off.


Sometimes you need to leave your hermitage and go somewhere that’s too far to walk. If you decide to take a bus, do not go inside. You might end up sitting next to someone or worse, across from someone, and they might want to talk to you.

Have a conversation.

Give you their phone number or their handle, so they can make bird noises at you.

Don’t climb on the roof of the bus — that’s an amateur hermit move. If you do insist on climbing on the roof, you are very likely to encounter other amateur hermits.


Professional hermits go to the front of the bus and ride the bike rack. If there’s already a hermit clinging to the bike rack, wait for the next bus.

Last week there was a Hermit Meetup.

Nobody showed.

I assume.

I didn’t go.

Because, you know. People.

Some people accuse me of hiding in my hermitage because I’m afraid of the outside world.

I am not agoraphobic.

I am claustrophilic.

My hermitage is small, but cozy.

I inherited it from a raccoon. Actually, the raccoon is still here, but we just do our own thing, keep out of each other’s way. Raccoons are natural hermits. I have never had one try to make small talk with me.

Do I ever get lonely? Only when I’m with people.

You’re asking for my wisdom? Here it is:

Go away. Do your own thing. Own your own thing. Know that when you’re alone, you don’t have to be popular with everyone. You only have to be popular with you.

Is that the collected wisdom of all hermits? I assume it is. I didn’t take a poll because that would involve talking to the other hermits. And, I don’t want to do that.

Because, you know. People.

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Down in the Dingle
Sarah Totton

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Sarah Totton writes comedy and snorgles small mammals. She once gave a reading on a flatbed truck at a garden center to an audience of three ferns.

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