The Not So Lonely Path


I had to get out for a hike this morning to think some things over. I went to a trail that’s new for me, Bennett Hill Preserve. It was overcast, chilly, and windy — perfect conditions for me.

The trail started up a ridge with a view of a dairy farm and cows through the trees and I kept a vigorous pace as the elevation increased and the gray and brown forest thickened. Pretty soon I was feeling alone, like I wished someone was with me, even though I’d started out seeking solitude.

Suddenly the solitude didn’t feel so great. I wasn’t just alone, I felt alone.

And then it started. First with Julia. She snapped me: that makes 767 consecutive days we’ve exchange SnapChats. A few minutes later, Fred called, and I got to hear his exciting story about hunting a deer.

While I was on the phone with Fred, Owen called, and I switched over and talked to him for a long time. He’s into scented candles now. We talked about the differences between being bored and being lonely.

I had taken a photo of the preserve map when I’d started out and a good thing because I was so inside these conversations I needed to reference my location at every trail junction.

On my way down, Jim called. We talked about everything and did some laughing.

A group text went around among the Dads in town.

I don’t believe there was anything to it–all these favorite people reaching out to me with such exquisite timeing. I don’t believe in that cosmic-energy-connectedness stuff. I think I just got lucky today. And I happened to have my phone with me.

Then I went home and sat next to Harriet and we ate lunch together.

By David Klein

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.


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