Fortress of solitude

New York is a fine place in which to be alone. To walk into a little cafe with an armload of newspapers and sit at the counter and read them over a bowl of chili and a grilled cheese and a white mug of coffee, and a waitress who says, “What else could you like, love?”—this is heaven. In the papers are dozens of people in serious trouble and you are not one of them. You can soak it all up while you eavesdrop on your neighbors, one of whom is being hounded by her daughter who calls her three times a day to yik-yak, and how do you tell your daughter that enough is enough, already?
— Garrison Keillor