Monday, May 29, 2017

Forget It, Brother, You Can Go It Alone!

I go it alone a lot. There are a lot of events and places where I'd rather have accompaniment, but my friends are often uninterested, unwilling, and/or unable to join me when I do ask. Some live too far, some have families, some live too far and have families... As a result, I've just gotten into the habit of going and doing what I want, when I want, instead of trying to convince or coordinate with someone else.

Of course, having a strong introvert streak and the occasional bout of social anxiety both makes it easier to do things on my own and makes it harder to interact with others when there isn't someone there to provide some social lubricant. Last month in D.C., I opted to buy a ticket to the "Can't Stop the Science" event after the March for Science, then almost talked myself out of going. I did make my way out there in the end, and found myself standing alone at a bar table for a few minutes until, as luck would have it, a social scientist happened by and asked if she could share the table. Over the next hour or so, another six people came and went at different times, and I found myself in various conversations with my newfound tablemates.

Last weekend, I went to the Parkside Lounge in NYC to take in a live science fiction comedy show, "Wild Women of Planet Wongo." It's an interactive show, and one of the aforementioned Wild Women (or Wongettes) approached me during a dance number and told me she needed a partner, and she'd teach me the dance. I was taken aback, but the Wongotini I'd consumed earlier probably eased my acquiescence, and I attempted to keep up with her during the alien dancing. After the show was over, I got a picture with Maya, the actress playing the Wongette, and we chatted for a bit; she commended me for coming to the show alone, and we remarked on how we both prefer to do things solo than to skip 'em when we can't find someone with whom to go.

Yes, I got leid, too

A few days later, I was back in Manhattan to see Tania Stavreva perform again. I usually feel a little awkward and out of place at the receptions afterwards when she has them, and this time wasn't much different. I did talk with Jon Ososki, another musician I'd met at Tania's last performance, a bit. After a few minutes of solitary standing, I noticed a woman out of the corner of my eye; she looked like she was preparing to approach me, but surely-

She did. She came up to me and smiled, said hi, asked if this had been the first time I'd seen Tania perform, which led to my explaining how I'd met the pianist through Goli, the Cambridge band I'd found accidentally one night at Caffe Vivaldi. We talked for a while, joined eventually by an indie filmmaker named Bryan (and I then found out that my temporary companion was a script supervisor named Marilyn), before she became ensnared in another conversation and I found myself... well, kinda alone again. Naturally.

I do have friends, of course, and I do see them and get out with them. Over the past month, I've seen the Revolution in concert with Rhonda and Jenn, gone to Lambertville's Shadfest with Barbara, had drinks and watched "Alien: Covenant" with Yesika, and spent a fun day in New York with Dawn. I see my parents every other weekend and celebrated my dad's birthday with them yesterday (it's today). While Greta's Unmentionables will apparently split up, we'll do so amicably, and there's still Not An Exit as an outlet for creative collaboration. And I am very much looking forward to seeing Mel, Joyce, and Sue in a month when we tackle Key West together.

But for all that, when I hear about Chris Cornell's suicide, and I'm reminded that Jeff Buckley died twenty years ago today (I'm listening to Grace right now), and I see myself doing more on my own than I do with others, I can't help but feel pretty damned alone. Sometimes.

Love is not a victory march,
  It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah...

No comments:

Post a Comment