Doing things solo #3

The solo outing that almost wasn’t.  A friend emailed yesterday, “I’m curious to check (the Moth) out, and I wondered if you wanted to go. It sounded like something you might be interested in, too!”  She was right.  Weirdly, I had to decline her invitation to go because I was already going.  Alone.  So I said I could wave at her if she went but would then have to return to being alone.  Fast way to lose friends, but it’s my only opportunity this week to explore the city alone.

Literary/creative events in bars have become my favorite activities (2nd Story, Dollar Store , Pecha Kucha), and stemming from the line down the block outside of Martyr’s, the rest of the universe is also mac’ing on them.  There were about a hundred people behind me in line when I got to the door and the doorman said, “After you (someone right behind me), we’re sold out.  Sorry.”  Whew.  I can’t help but feel that the reason so many people came out is because the Moth is HUGE in New York, and a lot of Chicagoans have a complex about hating New York but wanting to be New York while loathing every thing about it yet feeling miniscule in its supposed shadow.   Personally, Milwaukee/North/Damen is enough New York for me.

The gist of the Moth is you throw your name in a hat, ten people get picked to tell a five-minute story on a pre-selected theme – tonight’s was “school” – and then judges give you scores.  Some were good, some were ok, one was horrible (he talked about the girls in his class with hair that smelled like lavender and ribbons, and then recounted a game he and his guy friends would play called “Love Box” which involved shoving the “chosen girls” into a hidden area by a brick wall and grabbing them around the waist; the audience wasn’t sure how to react to a story that teetered on being about sexual harassment).

Totally felt comfortable by myself.  The only time I found myself wishing for company was when lavender-ribbon guy started hitting on me, but I quickly ended that encounter with tight-lipped grimaces in response to his lines.  There were actually a bunch of people by themselves, which was interesting to watch in the forty-five minute wait.  Who did what, who looked at ease, who looked uncomfortable.  One girl read a book.  Most just stood and stared in the general vicinity of the stage, which is what I also did.  At one point though, I found myself doing slow, exaggerated head circles, and noticed that the girl next to me was also doing slow, exaggerated head circles, so I quickly stopped because I thought that’d look odd, two girls alone in a crowd doing synchronized head circles.