Clean, Well-Lighted

One of the great travesties of our great worldwide panic is the loss of third spaces. Or, in the case of us introverts, second spaces.

We as a family are living under constraint. My exit plan involved buying a 15 passenger van and the largest RV trailer I could find, and imposing ourselves upon the kindness of my sister and brother in law, until suitable employment could be found. It’s a big house, and there’s some land attached. But we both have big families. I’d say there are something on the order of 20 people attached to a single piece of real estate. It’s not ideal. We look like a commune.

What I found was that my job search process was constrained as well — by the noise. I found a spare bedroom somewhere (!), but here I am hiding out doing nothing specific, and right outside there are at least THREE family emergencies, and a toddler that cries whenever he’s not held.

So to job apply, or work on cover letters and interview technique, I must away… and there is nowhere to go. Every library is closed. Starbucks is pick up only. I am close to my parents that I haven’t lived near to for over 20 years, but that turns into family conversation, for obvious reasons.

For several weeks, my go to solution has been a nearby Barnes and Noble that has kindly opened up its coffee shop. But then I feel compelled to spurge $5 on a cup of coffee, which is rough when you’re unemployed. Break for lunch? That’ll be another cup of coffee, pal. (Imagined society places strange burdens.)

Today, I found another option: a nearly abandoned mall.

As an introvert and bookworm, I assure you: it’s absolutely charming.