Saturday, August 15, 2009

It was a bummer of a Friday night. I debated for a long time whether to go out or not. I woke up around 5 a.m. that morning and stayed awake for an hour and a half before finally falling back asleep. I was tired all day at work thinking about car wrecks and executions. But my friend texted me. "I'll be at the Plaza around 8:30 if you want to meet me." OK. "Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Plaza or sit alone in my bedroom and watch "In Treatment"? Tough call, but might as well DO something, right?

As I headed out to Downtown I was kind of pumped up seeing the last remants of the sunset. It was beautiful, as always, and the creeping darkness promised excitement. By the time I parked in the underground garage it was dark. I drove around and around the garage trying to find a parking space. Garages have a way of making one claustrophobic. Finally I parked in the last row.

I crossed the street, looking at the groups of people going by. When did I become so much older than college-age? Hipsters, ugh. I stood on the outskirts of the melee. Some overweight people in portable lawn chairs. A guy break-dancing to an oldies/funk band. He was pretty good. Some people who sounded like they were from Austin. Do they stage a lot of these events in Austin? Probably. It seems like outdoor movies are exactly what progressive cities are supposed to do. I thought I saw my social butterfly (though unusual) cousin with her friend (boyfriend?) but I lost them in the crowd before I could say hi.

I saw a girl I recognized. "Lisa?" (Her name isn't really Lisa.)

"Oh hi."

"I'm here waiting for C."

"Oh, yeah, she said she'd be here."

She said something I couldn't hear.

"Good turnout, don't you think?" I said. Was there a more pointless thing that I could have said?

"I'm going to get a beer, you know always gotta have my beer," she said, turning away and then speedwalked away from me before I could follow her.

I think I'm better about rejection these days, but yeah, it hurts not to be liked.

So it was Alone for some more, watching the screen slowly get set up, a couple moved in beside me, the guy surrounding the girl with his arms (gross), some guy talking about getting spam e-mail from a musician (must be annoying).

I have mixed feelings about going to events Alone. I don't usually do it because people tend to think it's socially unacceptable, so I do the socially acceptable thing and go with another person. But I don't feel that uncomfortable about it. Especially at an event like this, I didn't feel that out of place just people watching, soaking up the ambience, enjoying the warm night. A shy person gets used to these things. Most of my freshman year of high school, I spent lunches eating outside in the courtyard, then going to the library, and I wasn't really sad about it. I liked the sunshine and the books.

Still. I feel like I try so hard. Try to meet people, try to make conversation, try not to be such a loner, but here I am yet again, alone on a Friday night.

My friend texts me: "FYI won't be there until about 9:30."

At this point I'm finding it hard to find a reason to stay here. My feet are tired from standing. I'm tired. I realize "Rocky Horror Picture Show" is not a movie you watch alone, and it sounds crude and offensive anyway. The operator presses the DVD to start the movie. A huge cheer erupts from the crowd. Meanwhile, I start walking back to my car. Fine, I was upset and near tears at that point. I'm disappointed the night didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

"I'm tired and going home," I text to my friend. I don't feel too bad about it since I know "Lisa" is still there.

So that's how I ended up back home at 10 p.m. I guess social life has its ups and downs and not all experiences can be positive. I remind myself that I've had a lot of good experiences, too. Still, last night makes me want to spend more nights watching "In Treatment."

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