Monday, January 17, 2011

several social experiments later

a few nights after my solo movie jaunt, i found out that a great local band was playing at a new bar just down the street from my loft. going to a movie by myself didn't seem that taxing or adventurous. going to a bar alone would be a very different, and ambitious, undertaking. i wavered on the decision until i couldn't think of a truly valid reason not to go. i got lucky -- the first seat i happened upon was an empty single barstool. i had a drink, and chased it with several small ice waters. leaving my scarf and near-empty bag on the chair, i and my wallet lit off for the restroom. when i returned, another water was waiting. the band played mostly covers, and i sat, slowly sipping my second drink. i must have looked a little funny, sitting alone, smiling into my drink as i mouthed the words. when the band finished their set, i left, feeling silly. it wasn't nearly as difficult as i'd made it out to be.

saturday night, i saw the same band again, at a community arts theater. i caught maybe ten minutes of the show, due to leaving work late. in the rush to arrive, i forgot i'd need dinner. i should have known it was coming -- my bravery and logic make a great team. one of my regular haunts would definitely be open late and serving great food. i already seen a movie alone, gone to a bar alone, and attended a show alone. why not visit a favorite restaurant? sitting at the four-top booth, i ordered my dinner and whipped out my netbook. the other patrons chatted happily around me as i skimmed through photos and descriptions of new york apartments only barely in my price range. i tipped as though two people had eaten, and weaved through the crowd of smokers outside, to my waiting car. i thought about the number of blocks from the restaurant to my door, about the number of taxis almost always present outside on weekend nights. it was not so different from a manhattan neighborhood, and yet, a world away.

on sunday afternoon, i received a phone call from my grandmother. i figured, with facebook's axis of influence, that she would hear from someone (in my family) that i was selling my furniture and moving to new york. her voice raised in pitch as she questioned me gently, and i reassured her that i haven't made a decision yet, but that i am considering it. it's difficult for her to let go. it's difficult for me, too. she's getting older, and i hate to think that i'm missing any time with her that i won't be able to make up. then again, she has always been a big proponent of my dreams. she supported me as a poet and a musician, and applauded me when i finally found my heart in childcare. she believes in me, as a photographer, and prays for me daily. most important, she understands that i'm quite a bit different than the rest of my family. i only hope that those differences make me stronger, more able to handle life so far away from so much that i know and love.

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