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Loner

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I’ve pretty much always been a loner. I don’t think it’s something I chose, I just think through happenstance, I am a loner. I could get all psychotherapist on you, but it wouldn’t do much good. But I did have an odd upbringing in that I spent every (and I mean every) weekend with my grandparents and every summer with them in South Tacoma. From as early as I can remember until I was at least 14 when my grandfather passed away. On Saturday mornings my mom would drop me off at my grandmother’s or my grandfather’s home and on Sunday afternoon my grandfather would take me home. We lived in University Place, my grandparents lived in South Tacoma. I really don’t fully understand why this was protocol, but near as I can figure, my parents had an active social life and my grandparents were the built in Johnny sitters.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my grandparents and my parents. I just think I had an odd childhood. In the Summer, I literally spent every day with my grandparents. My mom worked at JC Penney at the Tacoma Mall part time. So during the summer, she would drop me at my grandfather’s on the way to work and pick me up on the way home. Then it was back there for the weekend.

So I think when most kids are forming deep lasting relationships with childhood friends, I was playing solitaire or cribbage with my grandpa. Or mowing my aunt’s lawn. Or going to Fred Meyer with my grandma. I have some very dear childhood friends. But they are very few and far between. I don’t make friends easily now. I think mostly because I’m comfortable alone.

When I got laid off from Adobe in 2002, I went on a 12 day long road trip from here to Houston and back. I never got bored. I saw things I’d never seen before, the Grand Canyon, The Blue Man Group, the painted desert, Joshua Tree National Park, Roswell, the Johnson Space Center, etc. I connected with a couple people here and there but mostly for those whole 12 days I was alone. I could have gone to Florida to watch a space shuttle launch (now regret that I didn’t) but Thanksgiving was coming and I was expected back for that. But I would have been perfectly happy spending another week or two on the road, just exploring. Alone.

I bought 4 tickets to the Seahawks game on Thursday for a birthday present to myself. But the funny thing is I don’t know who to take beyond Teri. Teri has suggested a few people. But they’re really Teri’s friends. Not mine. So I probably have two extra tickets to the Seahawks game Thursday if anyone wants to come along.

I’m super comfortable alone. The odd dichotomy though is that I sell Real Estate for a living. That is not a loner job. I’m always required to be social. I don’t know how I ended up here. I love my job and I’m good at it. It just seems weird for such a loner to be in such a social career.

My grandpa lived alone. He and my grandma had divorced before I was born. But they lived a block apart. I suspect I have a lot of his traits. Kind, gentle, good hearted. But in the end, he was a loner too. And? Seemingly OK with it. Well, we had each other I guess. Just two loners and a deck of cards. I do miss my grandpa. It’s amazing to think at this point I’ve lived without him in my life twice as long as I lived with him in it. I still ask him for advice. I wonder if he’s proud of his loner grandson.

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AUTHOR - John Hurlbut

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