I'm working in a gallery today, but I'm not really doing anything for the gallery. I'm on my laptop, checking emails, researching places to explore, planning future events.
But even though I'm not doing anything for the gallery, it's important that I'm here.
It's important so that the other person – who is doing work for the gallery – isn't alone here.
I remember towards the end of my stint managing a clothing store a couple years ago, my boss had messed up the schedule so much, and had entrusted so many irresponsible new hires, that a few times I had to open the store by myself. It really freaked me out. I didn't like being there alone.
Even if we had no customers, I could barely run to the back door to accept deliveries. I struggled to escort the armored car driver back to the safe to pick up the deposit. I couldn't leave the store to pick up lunch from the food court. I couldn't leave the sales floor even to go to the bathroom.
And if anything happened, I was all alone.
I felt exposed and vulnerable. Even if the phone never rang, and I never had to open the cash drawer, I felt like a target.
So today, I'm happy to just be here. I know I'm a warm body. But at least my coworker can go to the bathroom when nature calls.
The other person doesn't always have to be doing something. Today, we've barely talked to each other, each absorbed into our own little worlds.
But it's just important to not be alone.
My Loneliness Is Killing Me
One of My Kind
The Island of Misfit Toy
Haunting for One