Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lesson

The crowd exits the movie theater, as a flood. We pour out of the side doors and into the cold night and as I watch the wedge starts to break up as couples splinter off to their cars, hurried in their efforts to escape the damp chill that assaults us. I am alone. I went there with purpose, to fill myself with misery. To bask in my solitude. I look down at the half-empty bag of popcorn I'm carrying with me and try not to think about why I have leftovers.  Time has never moved slower. I think about how antsy I was for the movie to pass the time. I think about my solitary laugh at one of the more subtle jokes in the film. How empty it sounded. How singular. I get in the car and start it and then I realize I have nowhere to go. I just sit there contemplating the room full of half-packed boxes and the solitary lamp and the air mattress and I realize that it is really over. Something in me breaks.  The only sound in the car is my breathing. I have reached the bottom. Because now I am alone.

Three years pass. 

I am walking to the diner briskly enjoying the dappled sunlight that comes from the clouds chasing each other high above. The stream next to me is roaring with meltwater and I feel the sun's warmth for the first time in months. I get to the diner, paper folded under my arm and the greeter asks if it will be a table for one. I smile a crooked smile and nod and she blushes. That makes me smile even more.  I get to the booth and slide in. I unfold the paper and before I can ask the coffee is in front of me.  I order without looking at the menu because I know it.  I sit and drink my coffee and I look at the shoddy paint job where the cheap veneered paneling meets the wall. I glance at the paper but am more interested in listening to the terrible "Soft Jams!" they are piping in. It's Air Supply singing "All Out of Love". I chortle. The waitress is back with my food. She smiles at me. I smile back.  I don't think about anything except maybe this. What I will write about it later. I will write that a life that was full became empty and then that a life that was broken became fixed.  I sip my coffee and smile to myself.  Because now I am alone.

12 comments:

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I fucking love this.

-b

Char said...

bravo

Lacey said...

Whenever I walk out of a movie theater, I expect it to be dark. And it rarely is. Hm.

sour said...

fixed!

Vic said...

Beautiful. (I like when you peel back the protective coating just a little bit. )

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

That was lovely.

I love to discover when the funny as hell writers are the brilliant ones as well.

Extraordinarily Ordinary said...

This right here is why I'm scared of, but also look forward to, making the necessary next step in my life. Yet, it still scares the hell out of me.

Screw you, Air Supply. I'm not all out of love, just all out of giving a damn.

That Baldy Fella said...

Nice work, sir.

Brown-Eyed Girl said...

Amen.

Kat said...

It takes a special person to be able to comfortably dine alone in public. I knew you were special when I started reading your blog, I just didn't know how awesome.

Chelle said...

Splendid.

Mona Lott said...

This really is a great piece of writing, but more importantly, fantastic news. I worry about my friends. I'm a worrier:p