Go to a show alone. Not because your friends couldn’t come or your boyfriend was busy, but because you want to. Ride your bike there. Leave your phone at home and your headphones in your desk drawer. Stand there gawkily and look around. But don’t look lost. And take your hands out of your pockets.
Ask the person next to you in line what the last show they saw was. Tell them about your favorite band. Argue even. People respond to passion. Laugh creepily when listening in on people’s conversations and don’t look away when they grill you for eavesdropping. Just smile. Offer your opinions when people don’t ask, because you have them and you want to share. Then ask them their opinions. The best way to get out of your head is to get into someone else’s.
You can grab a beer unless you’re going to need both of your hands. Maybe you’re going to throw both of them into the ayer like youz a true player? Toss your jazz hands up while fully enjoying the filler music, even if it’s Top 40 crap and you’re not a radio kind of kid.
Find a roomy spot on the dance floor and sway. Better yet, move your elbows. Wait for the music to start. Then watch everyone disappear. Let the lights spread around you like a cape and move. Nod your head and shake your shoulders. Watch the couples next to you stare, because you are dancing alone. Because they always thought you needed a partner. But you don’t. All you need is the music. Even if it’s only the soundtrack in your head. And because no one there will be there tomorrow to call you out on your embarrassing dance moves.
Maybe you’re not the dancing type. Then pay attention to the details. Have you ever watched the crew throw everything together between sets? Have you ever watched the way the crowd moves in and out of those door shaped yellow lights behind you? The way people move on their own. It’s amazing the things you see when you’re alone and unmoving. Like sitting in nature and seeing how things behave when they don’t notice that you are watching.
Stare at the stage and the lights and smile. You are alive. In that moment. Alone. Completely alone. No one to stand next to you and touch your arm to let you know you’re alive. You just know. And how do you know? Documentation! You take a picture or two. Or better yet– don’t take any—not one effing shot to prove you were there. No one has to know.
When the show wraps up, and the judgmental couples head to their cars to chat casually about how cool the show was, stand there even more awkwardly alone. Stare at the stage and take in the past three hours of your life. Where were you? Do you even know? Does it even matter? Who will believe you?
Glance at that attractive girl/ guy staring at you and look away. Momentarily imagine yourselves entwined together in some low thread count sheet panting and saying things neither of you means. Then breathing softly and saying nothing because there’s nothing to say since you both would rather be alone. So look away. Say nothing first.
Then ride home on your bike without your headphones and hum the off-beat baseline that song you don’t know the name of. Let the air whip you in the face and know you are alone. Lie in your lumpy unmade bed and know you’re alone. And then smile—because you got to be alone.
And if you won’t go to a show alone, be alone at a show.
See also: eat lunch alone, go to the movies unaccompanied, read aloud at the park, the unnecessary plus one.