Dinner For One

Today was my day off.

Like most days off before it, I spent this one alone. I woke, alone; I showered, alone; I ate breakfast at 2pm, alone; I left the house to take a stool sample to the lab, alone. There are times that I wish I had lots of friends, but more than anything I think I just want to be loved and to feel free to love. I want a woman in my life. I'm not really jealous of the other guys I see out and about with their buddies. No. Buddies are nice and all, but it's much harder to go to the bookstore with buddies than it is to go alone...and spend ALL DAY reading and browsing. I only find myself jealous and lonely when I see interesting, beautiful women wandering the aisles hand-in-hand with their boyfriends. I want to do that: wander aimlessly through Barnes and Noble talking about books we've read, books we want to read, books that should be written by someone with more time than us...someone who's not in love, someone who's lonely. Like me.

It's a trade-off, I guess, the freedom to spend as much time as I want doing solitary activities in bookstores and yet the loneliness that comes with that freedom. I recall when I was married, or even dating my ex, how she'd want me to be home at certain times; how she'd keep me on a leash.

I want to be happy being alone; not having any friends calling me to "hang out," "see a movie," "go to dinner," "browse the bookstore;" But it's hard. I don't surprise myself very often. I've already heard all my own stories too many times to count--too many times to be amused any longer by myself.

That's what is wonderful about friends; they enrich our experience of ourselves, of life. They haven't heard all our stories, and, if they have, they inform us that such is the case and request to hear something new. We're forced to be fresh. There's no such thing as fresh, when it's just yourself. You know what you're going to say before it even becomes the suggestion of sound on your tongue.

Tonight, after a long languid day running errands and browsing bookstores, I ate dinner at Applebee's. I had the chicken pasta dish I like so well, wrote an email to a friend long gone (moved to another town), and smiled and said "please" and "thank you" when my waitress came to serve me.

After, I drove home, alone; put away the purchases of the day, alone; sat down to write this entry, alone.
liferiot liferiot
26-30, M
2 Responses Jul 6, 2007

Sounds almost like me. Everything except for the stool sample and apple bee's. You appear a lot more interesting than most I have encountered. I am suprised. I am a hot chick, and can not get an intelligent male in a book store. You sound like a winner to me; but if you do not like being alone why would anyone want to be alone with you?

It doesn't surprise me that you don't have many friends. Ha! How'd you like that? Not the response you might have been expecting, eh? What I mean is, you remind me a little of myself in that you've said in other entries that you have a hard time wasting time with small talk and like to cut through the crap to, well, the good stuff. Some people can be put off by people who don't follow these conventions, people who seem a little too "intense." I'm similar in that I hate the preliminary bullshit of meeting most new people...the small talk, and superficial friendships that are prerequisite to most relationships. I haven't made many close friends past high school. I have a hard time settling for anything less than the close friendships I have had...but after so many years and so many miles...they have grown weaker. I'm not much for going out to bars or clubs every weekend, or happy hour every night. I like to connect, to laugh, to have meaningful conversations with people who inspire and challenge me. I would rather go hike, explore the city, go get coffee with a friend, stay up late in a strange little hole-in-the-wall place in the city deep in conversation with a close friends, then go get wasted in bar that's too loud to hear anything (and I'm up for that now and again, but it's not my go-to). It's funny...the Experience Project is almost the opposite end of the spectrum. Certainly not small talk....but I'm still unable to say, "Hey, you seem interesting. Let's go grab dinner sometime." In a way, it's almost more frustrating than simply being alone. Almost. Also, you mentioned in your comment to me that you have been recognizing that you have to make choices, and that if you want to focus on solitary tasks, such as honing your writing, then you have to sacrifice the ability to socialize as much as you might like. Remember that this is a choice you are actively making and not simply a lonely situation you passively find yourself in.