“Why are we always where other people aren’t?”

It is a favorite quote from one of my kids. I like it so much I’d like to stitch it on a shirt or wear it on small button on my jacket. It is what I like best. Being where other people aren’t.

It’s not because I don’t like people. I do. I just don’t like many of them in the same place.

The park worker watering the giant banana tree in the Tropical Dome of the Mitchell Park Conservatory and the mom with her five-year old were plenty this afternoon. I didn’t have to worry about them being in the picture.


I sat on a bench after taking this picture. I wanted to send it to a friend. And then I wanted to sit there as if I didn’t have anything else in the world more important than breathing in the steamy orchid air. I’ve earned this, I thought. So many years of working all the time, never just going somewhere in the middle of the day, being tied to my computer screen, stuck in meetings with people who had all the time in the world.

I can just be here, I decided. I can be here with the other old people, the couple who just came through the door who are murmuring to each other. He is guiding his walker carefully over the wood chips and she is holding his arm. They look happy being here. Like me.

And then my email tells me that I shouldn’t be sitting here. I should be back in my office, scanning a copy of a document to send someone who needs it in order to pay me. So I leave. I interrupt my reverie and I get up and leave. And I think it’s a bitch and I’m fed up with it, leaving places with no people when I’m not really ready. Fuck it, I think.

I like it here.