Omaha has a large population of ‘lonely guys’ that come out of the woodwork on weekend nights, when they feel their loneliness most keenly. One can spot a ‘lonely guy’ in any given café (with any luck, you’ll spot at least three, but rarely will you see more than a dozen in a single closed area,) sitting alone, reading a book and sipping coffee—waiting for someone to come up and talk to them, perhaps? One can see them eating in dismal solitude at a restaurant—hoping a ‘lonely woman’ might approach them, perhaps? One can see the pain in their eyes when they look over at you, stopped at the stop light—hoping you might roll down your window, and invite them over for dinner, perhaps?
When you fail to approach and engage a ‘lonely guy’, you have, in essence, walked by a dying homeless man on the street (and instead of lending a helping hand, you put your handkerchief over your nose and hurriedly walk away, in disgust)—you have failed to put a few coins in the bucket as you pass a bell ringing Salvation Army Santa Claus (and instead of feeling bad, you revel in your greedy filth and squalor)—any and all other ungainly acts that come to mind can be compared to the forsaking of the ‘lonely guy.’ Let Christ compel you, and for the love of God, engage the lonely man.
Now, madam or monsieur, you must first understand (if you seek to comprehend the psyche of the ‘lonely guy’) that he does not chose to be lonely. You may ask yourself, “Why does not the ‘lonely guy’ go forth and plant the seeds of friendship that he may reap a crop of friendship in due time?” Well it’s not that simple for the ‘lonely guy.’ The ‘lonely guy’ is a laconic, vapid pussyfooter; for the ‘lonely guy,’ making friends is very difficult. But alas! We shall cover it more in depth over the course of my book.
I mean, if he could just go out and make friends, of course he would. But alas! You, with your youthful vigor and gregarious manner, know not yet the difficulties in such endeavors for the lost, reticent soul that drifts—rootless—through the seas of iniquity. Perhaps someday, you will experience what it means to be on the outside, looking in. But alas! You reside yet in the womb of your mother’s comfort, and know not the suffering in the prosaic life of the multitudes.
Now, the first problem is that the ‘lonely guy’ himself is unapproachable. At a cursory glance, he appears uncaring, unfriendly, and exudes apparent ambivalence. This is such a sad, sad paradox. Consider that the ‘lonely guy’ goes to the café or restaurant, ostensibly, for the purpose of getting food or a drink, but in reality he is hoping for someone to approach him, and start a conversation. But the endeavor is doomed from the start, because the ‘lonely guy’ looks unapproachable and unfriendly, and his apparent confidence betrays a false nature of happiness—when in fact, his one hope in life is that someone will approach him (which is highly unlikely, due to his reticent expression and unfriendly nature.)
Now, don’t despair, all you ‘lonely guys’ out there! There are some pragmatic steps that can be taken to increase a person’s approachability (however you must be careful how you go about it, because if done the wrong way it can easily add to your outward confident appearance and make you even more unapproachable.) It’s a delicate balance—the more feckless and pathetic you look, the more obvious your lonely and despondent nature is to passer-bys; but the more clean-cut and outwardly confident you appear (thus making you approachable,) the less people can discern your lonely nature (so they are actually less prone to approach you!)
Basically, try not to appear stoic, and hopefully an increased range of emotional expression will increase your approachability. You want to appear clean-cut, nice, and (if possible) cute. You never want to appear manly or sexy, in any form. And worst of all is to appear confident/superior (don’t dress too nicely—don’t wear clothes that are too expensive.) You want your clothes to say, “Hey! I’m a nice guy, come talk to me (I’m kind of shy!)” Not, “Check me out, mofo’, I’m a badass bro.’” No, never that.
I shall now describe a ‘lonely guy’, so that the reader madam or monsieur may better understand that the ‘lonely guy’, in his modern form (he has been around since the dawn of human civilization,) is utterly unapproachable:
This ‘lonely guy’ is sitting with his laptop at a table for two in a little café on a busy stretch of road downtown—alone. Ostensibly, he came to the café to drink coffee and use the internet—but the fact that he chose such an incredibly busy area reveals to the observer that he has ulterior motives: he secretly hopes that someone, anyone, will engage him in conversation (be his friend.) Now, don’t expect to go around town and be able to pick out every single ‘lonely guy’—it takes a keen eye to pick them out as quickly and efficiently as I can.
This ‘lonely guy’ appears to be in his thirties, and he either smokes and drinks heavily, or works a construction-type manual labor job, because his skin has the dull, leathery tone which is indicative of over-exposure to some sort of skin damaging chemical. At a cursory glance, the casual observer would deem him unapproachable because of his older age, but when one also takes into account his stoic and laconic expression of ambivalence, the observer now realizes that it is physically impossible to engage this person in conversation. Apparently, not only does he not want to talk to you, but if you inconvenience him with your speech, he might get angry (he looks rather grumpy and irritable.)
This is where most people go wrong. You simply cannot let the ‘lonely guys’ reticent and laconic nature deter you from engaging him: you must approach him at all costs. That’s the whole reason he is sitting there: waiting for you to come talk to him. The poor guy has nothing in the world to live for; his whole life is a slow, somber struggle to waste time and try to retain some semblance of sanity (because loneliness is debilitating; it gnaws at the edges of one’s mind, and tears one’s psyche to dismal shreds.) See more about the devastating effects of loneliness here.
You must ignore whatever the ‘lonely guy’ may look like, and approach him as though he is your brother or uncle or something. I make it a goal to talk to three ‘lonely guys’ per day; why don’t you go out, right now, and talk to your very first ‘lonely guy’! Go out and touch a 'lonely guy', because we're going to change the world, one ‘lonely guy’ at a time!