(title thanks to ani difranco)
on friday kevin, p. and i went up to canadian olympic park with his school and visited the olympics museum and went up to the top of the ski hill on the chair lift. great views from up there, but on the way down it started to rain and get rather cold. on saturday we took kevin back to the airport and said our goodbyes. a nice end to a great 10 days of visiting, hanging out, watching kevin smith movies and hacking.
it's all quiet around the house now. just me and the cats. last night i went dancing and had a great time. it was raining something awful, so i grabbed my bright green and silver umbrella and headed out for a walk. i walked to downtown and then started back.
there were line ups at all the popular clubs, yet very few people had umbrellas. i got asked for directions twice during my walk, and was complimented on the umbrella once. the quiet walking punctuated by odd random interactions with people reminded me how much i actually like being alone.
i passed by broken city and figured i'd stop in. the music was good and i ended up dancing. next thing i knew it was two in the morning and i'd met a number of new people. i find people interact with me more when i'm alone and leave me alone more when i'm with someone. funny, that. i danced with a few different people, chatted with a few more, enjoyed laughs with several.
i particularly enjoyed watching the wickedly drunk cute young guy who kept dancing with all the girls. he'd just walk up to one, put out his arms as if he was going to embrace them and then when the said 'ok' he'd take their hands and dance. when they were done and left for a break he'd head for the next nearest. another person wandering alone tiring out the people around him but not abashed to keep trying someone new, anyone new.
on the way out i popped my umbrella and realized i was rather hungry. probably due to not having eaten dinner before dancing for 3 straight hours. so i popped over to my favourite pizza by the slice place in the area. they serve cheap but rather decent pizza and always have veg on the rack and are open until ludicrously late in the night. as i walked out the door with my plate heaped with two giant slices it occurred to me that i've never gone there with someone that i started the evening with. i've met people there whom i've later spent time with, but never spent time there with someone i'd met before that day. it seems i don't hang out much with the pizza eating type, or maybe i just don't steer towards such venues when i'm with someone.
a homeless guy asked me for change as i rounded the corner. i gave him my second slice of pizza instead (which is why i got 2 in the first place). he was visibly surprised (not to mention wet from the rain) but tucked hungrily into the pizza after saying thanks. this is another thing i do less often when i'm with other people, mostly because i just don't pay as much attention when i'm with someone. rather, i'm usually thinking about things related to my company and interacting with them.
on the way down 17th in front of a viet sub shop i was randomly approached by a very drunk guy who asked for a hug ... and then a kiss. i have a strict no touching policy when it comes to random bodies on the street at night. i was still assessing the best way to extricate myself without offending when his somewhat more sober friends apologized and said he hadn't been out in a long time and was just "coming out of his shell in life" or something. one of the girls with him was cold and shivering. she noted my umbrella was a good idea, and that she wished they could find a cab so they could get home where it was warm and dry. the cab company phone lines were all busy, she said (no kidding! it's saturday night. of course they are busy! they have to cart the city's enormous nocturnal drunk community home). they apparently been waiting for some time and every cab that passed was full.
well, i knew something they apparently didn't: they were precisely 2.5 blocks too far east. if they had just walked down west a bit they'd have passed a little cluster of clubs from which stumble people who grab every passing cab which tend to pass west-to-east. it's like getting upwind from a bad smell: go past those clubs and it's an unending stream of cabs.
so i said if i happened to pass a cab i'd get it to come pick her up. she said that would be wonderful, but obviously didn't hold much faith in the offer. of course, she didn't know what i did. when i returned in a cab 5 minutes later she was overjoyed. i said goodnight and wandered back towards home.
again, another thing i probably wouldn't've done had i been with someone.
and upon arriving home i stretched out and enjoyed the warmth and silence. my house all to myself.
now, i love being around people and i love people in general. but i also love being alone. and in many ways i'm better off that way. the house stays tidier; i don't feel guilty about sleeping in and i don't have to tiptoe around quietly when i get (or stay) up early; i can work on the computer as much as i like; i can leave when i want and come back similarly; i can obsessively think about whatever is on my mind without interruption or feeling like i'm neglecting someone. and oddly, i tend to drink less when i'm alone.
and so it is that i love being around people, like when kevin was here or when i am in a steady romantic relationship, but i live better when i'm alone.
and homeless people eat a little better on saturday nights. and wet shivering girls get cabs quicker. and the rain gets to beat its rhythm (which is why rain falls, right?) upon my umbrella.