Today one of the most amazing things ever happened to me. I went to the movies by myself. Nothing too amazing about that, I do that a lot. But today there was no-one else in the cinema, just me.
I could’ve sat in any chair. I could’ve sat in every chair and watched the movie from all different angles. Got every perspective. Instead, I sat on the first seat I saw and hardly moved at all. I was so still. I even ate my chips with barely a sound. Habit I suppose.
I looked about the art deco cinema, steeped in history. If only the walls could talk, luckily for me they were mute. I looked at the organ all covered up. It has such a loud sound when played, today it was silent. Perfect golden silence.
It was like the movie had been written for me, the actors chosen for me, the scenes played out all for me. My own private screening.
I imagine the experience would frighten many people who so desperately crave company. Being so alone would be terrifying. Their loneliness would bounce off the walls and ceiling and strike them in their heart. Not me.
Some people search all their life to not be lonely. I search for it.
I am constantly surrounded by noise. In my house. In my head. I crave quiet. Being alone is like gold to me. Pure gold of the shiniest variety. It’s out of necessity I spend time with myself to buff my soul, so it shines again.
As I sat, immersed in the movie, The Silver Linings Playbook, I thought back to last night. How I’d planned to go and see the movie alone on a Friday night. How, even for such a solitary person, I couldn’t face the prospect of walking through the crowd of people by myself. Something about it being Friday night and all. Instead I got drunk and cried myself to sleep. Silly. All of it.
I waited until today. My husband and my three girls dropped me right out the front of the quiet cinema. I prefer to be alone by myself, not surrounded by others.
Sitting in that cinema alone was like a gift, wrapped up in glittery paper. It was like crack for my soul. I don’t know if it will ever happen again – an empty cinema. I watched the entire credits, perfectly still. I savoured the moment. My own personal silver lining.
I kissed my husband so deeply when I came home. He was sitting at the kitchen table with the girls. They were having a birthday party for their toys complete with balloons, streamers, cake and a singing birthday candle. Noise everywhere. The best kind of noise.
The truth is I am never truly alone, even in the emptiest cinema.