The Pleasure Of Our Own Company

I went to a movie alone yesterday.

I’d invited a friend, but she couldn’t make it. It was the last showing of a film people were raving about, so stag it would be.

It was a scorcher of a day and the small theater was like sitting inside an ice cube.

I found a primo seat aligned with the center of the screen; it was easy enough when you only needed one chair. People filled in around me, escaping the heat or catching the last showing or both.

It is a hard loneliness to be surrounded by people and still feel alone. Only I didn’t feel that; I was with me. I didn’t have to laugh, gasp, cry when I thought someone like me should, as I suspected the young woman next me was doing for her friend next to her. I could watch unvarnished and without pretense. I could discover what I really thought of it.

The movie ended. It was worth every rave. People clapped, murmured to their friends, walked out in a sweet, inefficient meander.

I stayed through the credits. A younger me might have sprinted out, embarrassed that the house lights revealed me to be alone and people would think I couldn’t find a date.

But yesterday me wanted to drink to the last drop of the movie. It also seemed unkind to myself to be ashamed that I was at a movie with myself. My own company could be enjoyable, not avoidable.

Not always. Sometimes I am the last person I want to be with. But in that ice cube of a theater, I remembered that the pleasure of our own company is a real thing and a good thing to reconnect with.

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