Tonight there’s a party. My wife is having ‘the girls’ over from work. Men are out of place, except in the stories shared. More specifically, I will be out of place. Voluntarily I will leave the comfort of the house and drift for 4 hours or more. It will be a journey of self-discovery.
I’ll travel into the sunset alone. My acquaintances are still that – no close male bonding has happened here in our new city; certainly no female either. I have no guy to call with a hearty “let’s make it guys’ night out!!!” My good friends are scattered around the country, the friendships victims of a nomad's career.
Most of the music bars don’t start going until my bedtime anyway.
I’m not a drinker, not a good drinker. I get woozy very quickly, bypassing several stages of warmth, bonhomie, comfort and whatever else propels people to drink socially or in solitude. It amplifies my insecurities and then skips right to where I want to sleep. Apparently, noisily. So, no bar, no titty bar, no pickup bar, no hotel bar, no theme bar. Instead I will drive upstream, against most traffic, to an electronics supermarket where I will roam the aisles, needing nothing, interested in only some of it, surprised that they make this or that, things I have no use for but which are seemingly good ideas for someone to possess.
I’ll look at tools, remote controlled airplanes, computers, TVs, parts, adaptors, power supplies and wire. The store is huge and stands at the far reaches of my roam, so I’ve only been there two or three times over the years. I doubt I'll buy anything, and am pretty sure if I do, it won't be out of need or even desire.
The store has a cafeteria in the middle of it. I don’t think I will be that desperate. Cafeteria catfish is a level of hell I am not yet prepared to face.
And then as traffic downstream clears I will make my way to the Cineplex, to see a horror! movie I wouldn’t normally even notice, a row to myself, another weird guy sitting alone in a cocoon of spilled popcorn and loneliness.