On Pride weekend Sunday, the big day, my friends were out of town so I spent it with myself.
There were over one million people there and me. I wandered around. Saw the sights. I saw the parade. I saw some performances. I saw groups of people. I saw couples. I saw myself… alone.
I kept pondering how a person could feel so utterly alone in a crowd of over a million people. I could not come up with an answer.
It made me depressed.
I thought about how I find it relatively easy to meet good people on Twitter. How I can meet very nice people through work and yet how I find it very difficult meeting people "in real life". Or to put it more precisely I find it very difficult to meet and to connect to people in real life.
To me, in real life, people are complicated. Relationships are complicated. I have never been very good at social interaction. I had one friend in grade school and only a handful in high school. And I felt I was never very good at it.
Today I have a very small circle of friends. And for them I am very grateful. But the whole meeting new people and getting to know them is downright complicated to me. I can run circles around a computer but put me in a room full of strangers and I'll sit in the corner of the room wondering why I'm sitting in the corner of the room.
Yes the answer is obvious. Get out of the corner and talk to people. But it fills me with such fear I am utterly incapable of doing it.
So there I was in a crowd of one million people… alone.
I got more depressed.
I started to look around. I started to look at the people. I started to look for people like me. I started looking for men. Gay men. Mid-forties looking gay men. Average build mid-forties aged gay men. The kind of man I would date. And I hardly saw any.
Now I'm not saying you can't be friends with people who aren't like you but if I was looking for someone who I could easily relate to I was not seeing them. My friends, both in real life and online, fit a certain demographic. And I was simply not seeing very many of them in this crowd. Where were they?
I theorized that many were "over" Pride and stayed home or went to the cottage or went anywhere but Pride. And then I thought about all of the people my age that died in the late 80s and 90s. People like me that didn't make it out of the century alive.
I went from being depressed to sad. To grateful. To happy. To sad. To depressed. And finally to bed.
Today, Monday, I sit with myself beside a quiet river. Just me. Not another person in sight. I am grateful to be here. I am grateful for life. And, surprisingly, I am not lonely.
Life is weird.