For three days, I have been working at a high school other than the one where I actually work. This one has a cafeteria. Every day I have chosen the same seat: at the end of the far table next to a window. Having been given the hot tip, I have been eating at noon, between the seatings for the the middle school girls and the high school girls. Although I arrive in a nearly empty room, I am nevertheless still there when the high school girls arrive. The tables are designed to seat approximately 12 people, but the girls find room for as many of their friends as possible. At the table next to mine, they just keep coming. Each newcomer takes a chair from my table and wedges it into the rapidly diminishing space at the other one. Eventually, there are 18 girls at the next table. At my table, there is just me, and three empty chairs.
Although A) I am 38 years old and B) I know not one student at this school, this still makes me feel like a total loser.
Tomorrow I'll be back home where I have friends who will eat with me. Really. I totally do have friends.