Flying Solo

During times that I’ve been single, I’ve told whichever therapist I happened to be seeing at the time how hard it can be for middle-aged single men to socialize in ways that seem to come so easily for women.  What I was really talking about was the envy I had for the way women appear to have so many friends to dine with, take trips with and do something a simple as go to the movies, with.  By comparison, I would say, men (me) have activity buddies whose repertoire is usually limited to going to see a basketball game together.  I couldn’t really envision myself taking a winter vacation in Turks and Caicos with a friend or making plans to visit Paris in the springtime.  And even if I could envision that for myself, it was all but impossible to imagine any friend who would join me.  I would go on and on about this to the therapist in a well thought out and well-reasoned screed.  If you’d like a copy of the spiel, send along a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I’ll send you a mimeograph of it.

This past weekend Yduj was away and I was spending the weekend on my own.  I was starting to get cabin fever so Saturday evening I decided to take myself the movies.  I’ve gone to the movies alone only a handful of times; I don’t mind seeing a film by my lonesome–it’s the coming and going in and out of the theater that I find, how shall I say . . . disquieting.  Mostly the going in part since that would be the moment I’d have the greatest chance of running into someone. Something I’d just as soon avoid.

There was a film noir series playing at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) and an obscure Humphrey Bogart film from the late 40’s was being screened.  So, about one-half hour before the movie was to start I headed out to BAM. I hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and looked really rumply from sitting around all day.  I probably looked like the vision I have of myself when I visit my worst fear of growing old all alone, just without the spittle working its way down my chin.

"Wanna take in a movie?"

“Wanna take in a movie?”

Unfortunately, there was a line to buy tickets and even more unfortunately, a real estate friend of mine, Jim, who if I don’t know well, I know a long time, was standing with his wife in line just in front of me. Jim turned around, spotted me and said hello as he introduced me to his wife.  They got their tickets, hung back a bit and then it was my turn  And for a moment . . . please don’t repeat this  . . . I considered buying two tickets.  Of course, my Inner Jew wouldn’t allow this, so I said to the clerk, “One for In A Lonely Place.  A senior.”  Yes, that’s right, I’m buying a ticket for just myself to see In A Lonely Place for chrissake! And a “senior” to boot!  At this point, I think I sensed a drop of spittle about to make its way over my lower lip.

I’m pretty sure Jim and his wife overheard my order.  I’m probably imagining it, but out of the corner of my eye I think I saw him mouthing, “How sad” to his wife.  Maybe that’s just paranoia, but what I am sure of is seeing a moment where, with clear purpose, Jim drew his wife a lot closer to him.

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10 Responses to “Flying Solo”

  1. MSP Says:

    Paris in the Spring it is then, I’ll let Jenn know. Should I book us a court at Roland Garros? I’m assuming hotel, airfare and per diem are included?

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      I don’t think that’s how the girls do it. I believe they each pay for themselves. But, I’ll double check. Don’t say anything to Jenn just yet.

  2. Rich Says:

    I’m going to a movie tonight. Do you want to join me?

  3. Rich Says:

    There is another side to this. One can often avoid the crowds by going on a weekday evening, but it is disconcerting to, sometimes, be sitting in a movie theater which only 7 or 8 other people. There are usually ten or more (many more) seats between people. I have sometimes thought of sitting down right next to somebody in an otherwise nearly empty theater. I can only imagine the panic that would ensue.

  4. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    that happened to me a long time ago. and then the guy started playing footsie with me. one thing led to another and we ultimately settled down together.

  5. John Pellegrini Says:

    Reminds me of the restaurant scene in the Steve Martin movie “The Lonely Guy”

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      Hi John. Good to hear from you. Don’t think I ever saw that. When i saw you had written I was hoping you were going to suggest we head off to Turks and Caicos in January. (I’m already booked for the Paris trip)

  6. James Wares Says:

    Thank god for your inner Jew, at least he has a head on his shoulders. Especially going to see some old Humphrey Bogart movie, who were you afraid of meeting there and why? Oh and by the way we just did the Paris to Normandy river cruise this summer,
    fantastic, it cost about $5,000 with airfare.You will need some spending money and take money for extra trips too. Use some of that money you spend on your psycho-whatever, thery’re in it mostly for the money. You might find a good soul once in a while, but not often. Avalon cruise line comes highly recommended by me, and just think of all the new stuff you can write about after your trip. I think we left on the 17th since we were in france for the summer solstice. In France on that day in every city big and small they play all kinds of music. They can teach us bigshot Americans
    a lot about living. ciao

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      Jimmy.. I know you’re new to this commenting thing. so i’ll need to explain that one of the (many) rules we have here at the blog factory is that comments cannot be longer than the blog post. I hope you understand.

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