When I was a child I thought being alone was the equivalent of being lonely. Yet there is a difference between enforced and voluntary isolation.
Mike, whom I met as darkness fell over the city of Portland, does not fear being by himself, nor does he mind a lack of companionship. With his life stripped down almost to the essentials, he carries all that he owns on his back. His one luxury appeared to be a mini-boom box.
When we met, Mike was listening to the radio. "Do you know this song?" he asked with a smile. I did (in fact it has a rather special meaning for me.) As he headed into the night, his bedroll on his back, I did not know if Mike embraced the lyrics of the song or turned his back to them.
Oh you ain't getting no younger.
Your pain and your hunger,
They're driving you home.
And freedom, oh freedom.
Well that's just some people talking.
Your prison is walking through this world all alone.