Being rather introverted, I oftentimes find myself analyzing the scenes around me. I look at the arrangement of people in a space, how they interact, and how they are prodded to social order. I hear snippets of conversations, and gaze at the invisible lines drawn between one person’s eyes and those around her.
I do this rather often. Be it walking home through Washington Square Park, or at an interactive art exhibit like the Color Factory, I engage with my surroundings by being mindfully detached.
What are the behaviors we are encouraged to engage in within a certain scene?
How are we encouraged towards these behaviors?
What are the consequences if we do not engage?
I often think about why people are encouraged to do things in pairs. Café tables are arranged in seatings of 2. Hotel rooms are booked with double occupancy. Color Factory was designed for participation in pairs…
But what is this fascination… no… *requirement* for doing things with other people? Namely, 1 other person for whom the adjacent seat is always considered.
New York is a lonely place, and this collusion in the “pair mentality” status quo only serves to deepen the injustice afflicted against the single people of New York.
So what if I want to get a meal by myself, or watch a movie on my own, or visit a nearby town alone, or attend an art exhibit by my lonesome? People who engage in these pastimes should not feel like they’re missing out on the experience by doing these things on their own. Establishments shouldn’t cater experiences only with consideration for how a pair might enjoy it. Why couldn’t we create experiences such that they are intimately personal… that perhaps the inclusion of another person in one’s personal experience is more of an intrusion than a welcome distraction?
I think people don’t know how to be alone, and that is cause for concern. By retreating into the comfortable recess of the familiar – familiar people, places, and activities – the individuals that make up our society fold into ever-diminishing zones of interaction and thought (i.e. circle jerk in Reddit speak).
So fuck other people and go out and do something you want to do. Stop waiting for other people to say “yes”. After all, we are born alone and we die alone.
What I’m listening to…
There is nothing more enigmatic and beautiful than the human voice, and even rarer are voices like that of Alina Baraz and Khalid. This one, produced by Marshmello, is nostalgic. It makes me really sad.
Yeah, I’d rather be a lover than a fighter
‘Cause all my life, I’ve been fighting
Never felt a feeling of comfort
All this time, I’ve been hiding
And I never had someone to call my own, oh nah
I’m so used to sharing
Love only left me alone
But I’m at one with the silence