But it doesn’t work. Even when I finally feel drunk, I still feel like I’m dying. I stand in the corner of the room, looking through Twitter on my phone. I’m not a douchebag; it’s just the only thing that’s making me feel a bit better right now.
When the opening act is over, I go outside to get some fresh air. When I come back some asshole is now standing in the corner. He doesn’t need to. He’s with someone. He doesn’t suffer from social anxiety. I go in the bathroom. I sit in the single bathroom stall, waiting for the headliner to finally go on. I curse the band under my breath for taking so long to get started. The internet barely works in here, and it’s not helping.
I remember that, when my best friend wouldn’t be there in high school, I’d eat my lunch in a bathroom stall. Soon though, I would just drop my lunch in the nearest garbage can and go spend the entire lunch hour in the library.
So I did things on my own. I read; I watched television, whatever movies they had at the shitty video store in town; I listened to top 40 radio because I’d never been exposed to anything else; I daydreamed. In the country, if you don’t do things on your own, you won’t do anything at all.
In the city, I went to the movies, to restaurants, to concerts, to clubs, to bars, to dance shows, to plays… Most of the time, I did those things on my own. I still do.
I think I feel fine in these contexts because my aloneness is assigned a table, a seat, a delimited space. At a concert or a club, the crowd is fluid, and their togetherness constantly threatens to butt up against my aloneness. My aloneness is in a constant state of shock.
When I get stoned, I become invested in the sensorial experience of my surroundings. I don’t care that I’m alone. The tightness in my chest subsides. Words fill my head and, whether it’s actually true or not, my stoned self thinks I’m really witty. I can focus on the music, I can hear it, I can let it inside of me, I can feel it.