alone. sort of.

As an introvert operating in the office of an extrovert, I have need of regular alone time. Not hours a day, mind you, but at least enough to collect my thoughts, alphabetize them, and file them away. This need elevates during times of stress like the last week. The need for alone time, the loss of our baby, and yesterday's whirlwind schedule coverged for the perfect storm. Yesterday, the sum total of my alone time was eeeked out during a three block walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to pick up the mail. Me. The iPod. And three thousand thirsty Hill staffers who were pouring in and out of the bars between 2nd and 4th. It did not suffice.

This evening my dear wife, knowing I needed a little chill time, dropped me at Borders to read, write, pout, veg, or whatever I wanted to do. Alone. As she drove off with the boys, I walked in....and to my horror, discovered that it was Local Talent Night in the cafe, where 2 guys hoping to be half of the next Boys2Men were belting out soul classics at an ear splitting level. It was all I could do not to scream "NOOOOOOOOOO!".

I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the far corner of the store - but not far enough to drown out the drums - with three magazines....Newsweek , Wired and Create Magazine. I grabbed the Newsweek because there's a picture of Karl Rove on the front and he reminds me of my late father-in-law, Rick. Except I'm pretty sure Rick was much funnier. Rove does not appear to be funny. Rick was a hoot, even when trying not to be. I discovered Wired when I was church planting with a bunch of techies and couldn't figure out what on earth they did for a living. I read Wired , Fast Company and Business 2.0 and learned about Bluetooth and burn rate and that VC meant Venture Capitalist, not Viet Cong. With the dotboom, Fast Company and Business 2.0 got thinner and thinner while Wired began to reach out to those of us without CAT5 for arteries. And I once got a phone call from Kevin Kelly. So I read his magazine. Create Magazine appears to be a new venture with a killer look. I like graphic design...not great at it, but I can spot UGLY in a second and seem to have an eye for what looks good. Create looks like it would be fun to get on a regular basis, were a single copy not already priced at eight bucks.

Anyway, I've paged through the magazines and am now trying to drown out Kool and the Gang with Moby on the iPod. The mix is interesting, albeit not something either of the artists would have thought of on their own. My coffee is two thirds gone and the time left until Kelsey returns from Target is probably near the same. Somehow, being here alone has helped reduce the stress a little...even if I didn't write a word in my moleskine or ponder our loss much. I do need to do some of that. Having lost a baby while actively engaged in the fight for life for the unborn has profound prophetic overtones while simultaneously leaving one wide open to every interpretation under the sun and a few of them found under rocks. Undoubtably, some if not all are accurate and applicable, but not by me 48 hours after the fact. I did not sign up to be the poster child for loss. Right now I'm just short a child. There's enough profundity there to last me a while.

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