The only real dilemma in hanging out with yourself is choosing which voice to follow.
I like hanging with me. I’m good company. I really don’t mind being alone, even for long periods of time. Being an introspective person I just kind of get lost inside my own head for a while. However, being married with kids definitely cuts into that bonding time so you have to take advantage of it whenever possible. This weekend I only had a brief me-escape, or “mescape” as I like to call them as of right this second. The wife was out of town Saturday so I had 3 hours to kill Saturday night while the boys were going berserk at Hi NRG Gymnastics. Twice a month the boys have Xtreme Boys Night where they get to climb ropes, bounce on trampolines, do gymnastics, have nerf gun fights and eat pizza. Throw in some High Life and I would do that in a heartbeat too. I might be on to something.
So I went and saw a movie. Going to movies alone is a little awkward. Not so much for me, but for others around me. They can’t seem to figure out what you’re doing in a theatre all alone, especially on a busy Saturday night. Although when you show up unshaven, wearing a hoodie stuffed with a bag of licorice and a big bottle of water, I guess the stares are justified. (What? I’m not buying a bottle of water at the theatre for $4.50 man. No way. I paid $10.50 for the movie and $6.00 for a small popcorn. That’s all you’re getting from me this trip.) Any who, I’m at Chesterfield Galaxy Theatre, 5 minutes away from the boys gymnastics class, watching Broken City by myself… and with a theatre full of strange couples. Even being alone doesn’t guarantee you a buffer seat from the stranger next to you. I hate when a stranger sits right next to me in a theatre. We need our space. It’s about a 2-hour movie, with roughly 20 minutes of previews, so I figured I timed it just right in order to be back in time to pick up the boys. Apparently I cut it pretty close because the last 20 minutes or so I repeatedly checked my cell phone for the time, then raced out of there as soon as the first credits came up. Another awkward, lasting impression for the moviegoers around me.
Long drives are great mescapes too. Drove to Denver by myself this past fall and loved it. The open road. The solitude. The totally random radio stations with unbelievably awful DJs. (Seriously, some of these guys must be broadcasting from their parent’s basement.) I know some people go crazy not having someone to talk to for 12 hours but I had me, and me, so there was always someone to commiserate with. I would sing, swerving in and out of tune, hitting the most absurd and hideous notes imaginable. I would dance, as much as the car seat would allow. I played the dashboard piano and tapped my fingers on the steering wheel drums. On more raucous arrangements I would break out the air guitar and air drums, complete with air drum pedals, which no doubt led to erratic shifts in velocity. Occasionally I would sing to, or just stare uncomfortably at, the driver in the car next to me or offer them a bizarre smile, just to elicit a response. We like doing that.
Even if I’m alone a few brief moments I’ll start talking to myself, so I guess I don’t really need too much alone time for a mescape. I do talk to myself a lot. It’s really the only way to get the right answer I guess. Either that or the voices in my head find my actual voice soothing. It’s amazing I get anything done with all this commotion going on. I need a mescape from myself.