You know, one of my favour compositions in street photography is the lone person sitting off from the crowd of happy, engaged people going about their daily lives. It’s a bit melancholy, really; those kinds of photos. At least to my eye.
More likely, this guy’s just waiting for his girl, or his buds he’s meeting for pints at the pub later. On the other hand, perhaps this is about as close as he gets to being around people, since he just doesn’t have the social skills necessary for meaningful friendships. He’ll walk around downtown awhile and stop for a pint by himself. He likes the window seat at the pub so he can watch people pass by. With his phone he’ll check his news feed on Facebook and click “like” to posts from people he hardly knows who are out having fun with friends or family. Their posts make him smile. He’s happy for them, but inside there’s something else he can’t quite put his finger on. An emptiness there. He always turns away from that feeling when it arises.
Later he’ll go home and throw something in the microwave and watch Netflix until it’s time for bed. A part of him realizes just what he’s missing out on in life, but another part of him says it’s just not worth the trouble. Best to be on your own and watch the world from a distance. He’s convinced himself over the years that this is a conscious decision on his part. He won’t accept that perhaps he has no control over his isolation. “I choose to be alone,” he tells himself when the darkness settles in. It does not help.