I like to think of myself as a man of solitude. Well, in actuality I just like to be left alone. This isn’t in the Michael Jackson “Leave Me Alone” fashion. This isn’t escapism. Sometimes a young man needs to collect his thoughts and veg out. I do this at home at times. But there are other times when I will go to my favorite local spot. They say nothing looks more sad and pathetic than someone who eats or drinks alone. But really though, I don’t care what they say. Now what would be pathetic and sad, is, if I were to be sloppy drunk, loud, and belligerent. That would be pitiful. Crying, miserable, wallowing in my despair. But that’s not what’s happening here. I’m just slowly decompressing.
It is all in the approach. My preference is for whiskey, neat most times, maybe a single ice cube. The sips are small and controlled. I like a little background noise- the game, people chattering, or maybe some music. I’m not really paying attention to any of it. I just like the feeling of being in the midst of things but not being the center of attention. But inevitably someone comes along to ruin my quasi “me-time”.
1. Drunk Guy
Drunk guy is annoying, loud, and belligerent. He says things that make me uncomfortable. “You’re a handsome guy”. “Nice arms”. His breath smells and he sprays it while saying it. He also pats me on the back numerous times which normally elicits an evil glare from me (don’t touch me). He behaves overly familiar like we hang together all the time. Now people are looking like “who is this guy? You should take him home.” I have the look of “I don’t know him” and might execute “The People’s Elbow” on his jaw. I’m really not trying take it there but he’s pushing me to my limits.
2. Nosy Bartender
Nosy bartender normally believes they are being helpful and just providing good customer service. But they fail to understand that just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m desperate for conversation. They, however, want to engage in banter on my day, what do I do for a living, how they bar tend but go to school, how people have no chill (you think), etc. They serve drinks to other people but somehow right after they are right back in my face to continue conversation I did not ask for.
3. Woo Girls
We all know about Woo Girls. There was an amusing episode of “How I Met Your Mother” about Woo Girls and their wooing. I mean, it’s your world- have a good time with your people. But those shots of lemon drops, fireballs, and tequila affect everyone one’s chill. The loud exclamations after having swallowed alcohol. Wooooo! “This is my song”. Wooooo! Let’s grind on each other. Woooo! Not to mention the multiple flashes from their phones as they take selfies and usies. Woooo! I get it. I’m by myself so why shouldn’t I play photographer? On three everybody say Woooo!
4. The Starer
Nothing is more horrific than to look up and find someone staring right at you. I don’t care if it’s a man or woman. Once your eyes lock it is like you somehow become tethered together. Now every 5 minutes I’m looking to see if you’re looking. Then the below starts running through my mind.
“Do I know you? Do you think you know me? Maybe we worked together. No we went to school. No we didn’t. Is something on my face? I got crumbs on my face. How is my line up? I should probably get a line up. Don’t look again. Ah, I can’t help it. Look away!”
5. Sports Fan
Sports Fan is normally intense. He is really sucked into the vortex of the game. He’s pounding the table. He’s screaming and yelling at coaches, players, and officials- All who have the pleasure of not knowing his existence. He wants a hi-five in victory. He wants consolation in defeat. He gives commentary on why that last play failed to execute.
There are a dozen others I have left off the list. But I suppose I’m just being cranky. I mean, let people live right? This is how some people disengage and get through the insanity of their lives. Maybe I’ve got chill.