Walk in the Park

It was a bright and balmy Saturday in Taipei. I woke up from my afternoon nap suddenly feeling the urge to go out for a walk. I didn't want to waste such a beautiful weather by just curling up like a ball in bed finishing a book. It was starting to cool down so I changed into a pair of comfy pants and grabbed a sweater. I thought it would be nice to take a late afternoon stroll at the nearest park. Not. A decision I regretted for the rest of the weekend.

The air was chilly, the sun began to set. I saw people everywhere- people together, couples together, children together, angkongs together, everyone together. And there I was, right smack in the middle of one of the city's biggest parks- alone. Ninety nine percent of the strangers who walked past me stared, the why-are-you-alone-kind-of-stare. I stared back, the mind-your-own-business-kind-of-stare. My throat clenched. The whole feeling of aloneness intensified. God I never felt so alone. Not until I saw a sea of faces, of smiles, of laughter.

That day I made a pact with the world. Thou shall not take a walk in the park alone, lest your middle name is masochist.

So I walked back home. I bought a bag of double cheese Cheetos, lemon iced tea, and Skyped the night away with a friend. Swear it felt better than walking in the park, alone.

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