Somehow the rain held off and nature provided a beautiful night to view the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble outside.
Of course I went alone, because I do most things alone these days. It’s strange though–while I’ve always appreciated and needed “alone time,” I never liked having too much of it. Lately, I’m more alone than I’ve ever been, yet I’m less lonely.
That doesn’t mean when I’m watching the sun set over the river I don’t wish I had someone sitting next to me so, when a little boy tells me a piece of goose poop is a caterpillar, I’d have someone to laugh with. It doesn’t mean when “Fields of Gold” starts playing on my iPod I’m not reduced almost to tears in the middle of a crowded subway station because I’m thinking of the gorgeous version on Studio 60 and it’s a threatening combination of missing my family since I watched it with them and the heart-wrenching power of Sorkin. I’m not saying in a section of town taken over by (early) 20-somethings who travel in packs, I don’t think how it would be nice if I had even part of a pack to claim as my own.
It just means that I’m better company than I used to be. I don’t repeatedly berate myself about how much of a failure I am. I don’t constantly tell myself it’s because of all of my shortcomings that I am alone in a particular instant. I just let myself be. If the silence gets too deafening, if I have to tell myself something, it’s that I am alone and that’s all it means. Yesterday I may not have been. Tomorrow I may not be. And even if I am tomorrow, and the next day, and for days to come, then I am, and it’s fine.
The best part of being alone is that I can stand in front of the nut section in CVS on a Friday night, studying the only 2 kinds left during a big sale to determine which is a better deal and which is healthier, for as long as I want without anyone noticing. It’s a simple luxury, but it’s enough.