I was on my way home from yet another isolating, six-hour bike ride. It was late on Friday night (eleven o'clock, as it turned out), and the parking lot of my old highschool offered a short-cut from the forest to the street that led to my apartment complex. I had set out in hopes of meeting women, but had ended up, as usual, on empty pathways through deserted parks, and I was, to put it mildly, feeling useless.
Yet still, I went back.
The night was mild and clear; the only sound was the science fiction susurrus of the frogs in the nearby creek. I stopped my bike several metres away from where she sat, and said, "Hey there."
"Hi." She had a pleasant voice.
"I've biked a lot over the years, but I've never seen anyone sitting alone, in the dark, in a deserted parking lot. That puts you in a category of one. Just thought I should tell you."
She laughed, and her laugh, too, was pleasant.
I said, "Are you okay?"
"Good." I turned my bike around for the trip back. "Have a great weekend!"
"We'll see what the weather hurls at us."
As I biked away, she said, "God bless."
Ah, well. I never did believe in gods. And if devils exist, they just might be as lonely as we are.