This pizza place has 4.5 stars on yelp with 630 reviews, but I was more excited about the calzone.
The reason I planned to go was because there was a talk nearby in Red Hook about quantum mechanics and the arrow of time. No one else was interested or available, so it was a solo night out, which isn’t my favorite kind but is acceptable enough when the talk and food both look so good.
So, on the first truly frigid night of the season, I trekked out to Brooklyn after work and found my way to the restaurant. The walk from the subway was only about 6 or 7 minutes, but that gave me plenty of time to pity myself for being alone. If I had a boyfriend or even any human being who proposed staying in and cuddling instead of going to this talk, I could have been convinced in 5 seconds to ditch the night’s plans. That’s what I was thinking to myself as I glanced into the giant living room windows of cozy, warmly lit brownstones.
But, the promise of a gooey calzone, even if eaten by myself at a table built for two, was enough to keep me going.
Then I reached the restaurant and saw the lights were off.
It was closed on Tuesdays.
I walked to a library close by to figure out my next move, and you can’t blame me if a few tears welled up in my eyes on the way. You can’t tell me you wouldn’t be near tears in a situation like this, because you probably wouldn’t be in a situation like this.
As I approached the library, my bundled up self no less self-pitying than it had been before the disappointment of the closed eatery, the lyrics from that Talking Heads song jumped unbidden into my brain: And you may ask yourself, Well, how did I get here?
I found myself answering: I got here by refusing to compromise my personality to please someone else. I got here by staying true to who I am deep down inside, making mistakes, and enjoying life. I got here by not settling down with someone who doesn’t challenge, appreciate, and accept me.
And true, that’s a single woman’s rather defensive response to why she’s all alone on a pre-winter night when all she really wants is to be cozied up with someone who’s chosen to be on her team. But it’s also nothing to be sad about.
When I realized that I would be sad if I stayed out for another hour waiting for the talk and then sat in a room alone for another half hour before it began, I went back to the train and all the way back home. Then I went for a short run in the below-freezing air and I didn’t feel better about my situation, but at least I had done something to keep the loneliness from taking over entirely.
The thing I need to remember is, even if we could influence time (and what great timing this talk was, what with the Jaden and Willow Smith interview), if I were given the opportunity to do so, to go back in time and change the trajectory of my life, I can’t say that I would take it. Because while I only went to Lucali last night and not inside it, who’s to say that if I had chosen some other path, I wouldn’t be somewhere much further away from a delicious calzone? Or, you know, from things that matter even more?
You don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe my attempt and failure to eat at Lucali brought me one step closer toward finding the sort of companionship I’m in the game for–or, at the very least, toward acceptance that I may never find it. Time is going to keep moving, whether I understand time’s arrow or not. And as long as I stay alive and hopeful and resilient, I’m convinced it’s going to move in a direction I can deal with.
Which is maybe not an idea anyone would give me 4.5 stars for, but it’s a decent one to keep in mind all the same.