Tuesday, January 11, 2011

just like the movies

my current city, winston-salem, is a city of the arts. along the main drag in downtown, there are many bars and restaurants. there are also galleries, artist's lofts, and an art-house theater that shows lots of independent flicks. since i'd already eaten away at much of this month's plan to list/sell furniture, i decided to make my first visit to a/perture. first, i put feelers out on facebook, to see if anyone wanted to attend a movie with me. my only response was from a friend of a friend, three hours away. i realized that this, in and of itself, is what i can expect to encounter a lot when i move -- friends who only wish they could spend time with me. i decided to do something else that i expect will become normal for me, and go alone. i don't need to wait on the world to catch up, in order to do something i want to do.

if the neighborhood weren't ever-so-slightly unsafe, and the streets weren't hilly enough to leave me out of breath, i would have walked to the theater. if there had been a place to chain it, and if ice weren't on the road from the previous weekend's storm, i would have biked. these things didn't stop me from going out in new york, from walking the streets and stepping in the slush, from braving the bitter north winter winds. they are enough, here, to force me into a car to make a fifteen block trip, pay for parking in a garage, and run (not walk) around the corner to quickly get out of the cold. in new york, i am strong and brave, if a little reckless. in north carolina, i am obviously not.

i am, however, brave enough to go to a movie alone. i purchased a tiny one-person bag of popcorn, paid for my own ticket, and sat by myself. i lost myself in the world of the moving picture, and i enjoyed it. i didn't sit through the credits, as i have so many times with other people, because i dislike sitting through the credits. when the lights came up, i was already out the door, heading back to my car, playing the movie over in my head. i've been to the movies alone very few times in my life. i can count them on one hand, and probably name the movies. the only part i dislike about it is not having anyone with which to discuss the movie after the fact. my sense of accomplishment, of being able to go out alone, was galvanizing. there is always something to do in new york, at almost any hour of the day or night. there is always a way to get there, whether it's bus, subway, taxi, bike, or on foot. i don't anticipate not making any friends, but even if it's slow going, i should be able to appreciate at least this one activity alone.

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