We Dine Alone Sometimes

But Saturday night is the loneliest night in the week
I sing the song that I sang for the memories I usually seek – Frank Sinatra


The Saturday night went on very slowly as usual. My roommates were not around, and all I could do inside the noiseless room was either stare at the ecru wall or surf the world wide web. But the seeming busyness of the internet only reminded me of the [night] life that I was missing. In my deep mulling over of things, I decided to dress up and go out. Didn’t care if I went outside alone, didn’t care if money was scarce.

If my roommates were enjoying somewhere in the metro, I might as well create some good times myself.

The air was unusually chilling, but I forgot my sweater. Magic 89.9 radio plays from my earphones. Hmm, where to, where to go? I was too tired to think, and I chose not to go far. My self and I decided for Maginhawa Ave. Good choice for someone who didn’t want crowds, actually, as I noticed that there were very few people around. Which is unusual for a Saturday night. Really. It made me wonder where the young people have gone. Is there a current hub already I wasn’t informed about? As I walked, I scanned each shop, diner after diner.

Then I remembered that it is the finals week for UP. The absence of people dining/chatting in Maginhawa eventually made sense–the exams and papers are keeping them busy. Guess they’re all saving the party mood for the sembreak. See, even the students were into something, and I was not. The neon lights reminded me of the solitude. I kept walking, maintaining the usual stroll pace. My eyes caught this ATM so I went straight to it to check if I still had money. Then wow, I didn’t realize last Friday was the payday! I was in a lighter mood since then, hahaha. Joke.

The walking made me hungry. I figured I’d settle with The Coffee Way, which was relatively near the telling machine. The place had this indie vibe, maybe because of the dim lights. The Coffee Way is a small shop that offers refreshments and also meals. The shop’s structure seemed like that of an apartment’s. When I entered inside, I confirmed to myself that it is actually an apartment-turned-coffee shop! Clever owner is clever.

As expected, only one table was occupied. Sweet.

I ordered pesto chicken fingers and requested for a glass of cold water, sat at a table outside, and opened a book which I haven’t finished yet. (I have been reading it for quite a long time already but it was a really tiring book, as in.) Waiter said the food’ll be ready in 15 minutes. Pretty fair, as I’ll have time to read at least a few pages. Honestly, I didn’t like the book at all, but since I bought it, I realized I had to finish it. Return of investment, you know. After half a chapter, the food arrived.


It was really good. I find the ground olives very flavorful. I think I have to indicate here that the green round things you see there are not kiwi slices. I thought they were but I found out it they were tomato wedges. As I ate, I could see from my periphery this one guy who kept on staring. I think he found it weird that I eat with just a fork and the spoon was aside.

While dining, I did my usual pondering over recent things about my life. I found it funny that in spite of the many things one could do in this city of chrome, one still gets bored. Do you remember the story about the country mouse and the city mouse, where these mice realized some things about themselves? How they learned through experience that they fit in their own places? That’s what I thought of last night, except that I didn’t want to live outside the city I am in. It’s just that I realized how home I was here. I get bored, yes, but I get by. There may be times that I felt empty and alone, but it is fitting that I know now how to make up for it.

I didn’t notice that I was already done eating. I paid for the bill and walked back home. It was still early to come back to the stillness that is my room, but there was nowhere to go.

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