There are two kinds of lonely, at least two with which I am familiar: the lonely-because-no-one-else-is-around kind and the lonely-even-though-I’m-in-the-middle-of-a-big-crowd kind. Sometimes, it’s good to switch it up a bit.
Went to Asheville today to visit a parishioner and just decided afterward that I wasn’t going home. Well, obviously, I came home eventually, but I opted to stay in town for a while. Went to Barnes and Noble, read books I had no intention of buying and drank highly overpriced fancy coffee that actually isn’t very good but the mediocreness of which is masked by all the extras, and in general, pretended that I still lived in a big(er) city. Or at least suburbia. It was nice to slip into invisible anonymity for just a little while. However, that ended when I noticed that people were looking at me funny and I realized I had on my cleric. A uniform of any kind does not blend into the background.
I will confess to buying a journal because it is difficult for me to find the spiral bound kind that I like these days and a jigsaw puzzle for my mother’s birthday, but on the whole, if I’m going to purchase books from a bookstore, I’d rather give my money to the little independent dealer in this small town.
It was nice to spend the day there but, in the end, I am really happier here. Below is a picture of some of the produce another parishioner gave me last month. Lettuce and giant green onions and absolutely delicious asparagus are barely peeking out from under the lettuce. Fresh asparagus is an entirely different species from that which one acquires in the grocery store. So good. In the freezer are trout and in the fridge are blueberries. It’s not that people don’t share their produce and catch of the day in the ‘big city’, it’s just that frequency of such gifts is higher in a smaller place. They also seem to be more treasured, too.