My new office cafeteria has a number of high bench seats that face the windows. Here you can sit with your back to the cafeteria and look out at the view.
But I can’t help thinking how these were labelled in early pictures of the new building: seats for lonely eaters.
It was probably a language thing – someone translated literally from their language to English and that’s how it came out.
You don’t have to be a lonely eater to sit at these seats. Today, around me, there were people dining in pairs, chatting.
But not me, and not the guy next to me.
We were true lonely eaters, staring out the window and interacting with our phones. (Lonely lunchtime dining is when I catch up on reading all those blog posts I follow.)
I like the quiet of this lonely eating. So much of the rest of my days right now is racing to keep on top of an ever expanding to-do list. This time of not having to talk, or think too much, and to engage with blog writers who feel like friends – I like it.
Do people judge the lonely eaters? Probably not. Everyone else is too worried about getting noticed themselves to worry about what someone else is doing.
In the meantime I’m looking out at a Stratford and the number of high-rise buildings that have spring up there, at people having lunch in the office building across the way, at the little red DLR train rattling its way up and down (surprisingly often), at the ugly brown church with the green copper roof, at the residential building next to the office. (I haven’t seen any naked yoga going on but I have seen a fully lit up Christmas tree.)
How do you feel about being a lonely eater? Do you feel lost without company or are you happy with your own company?