Prompt 076: Weekends In, or Out
76. Would you rather spend your weekends in or out on the town and why? What are your favorite activities in either environment and why?
Generally speaking, I dislike people. The less contact I have with the general public, the better (with or without COVID-19). My attitude has been like this easily for the last 20 years of my life, when I started living on my own (or at least away from home, no longer under my parents' roof). Employment and the necessity of working for a living can really suck a lot out of you.
In some ways, this manifests as a reality check, so it's for the best. Learning just how terrible life itself can be for others - far outside the sheltered confines of your suburban upbringing (at least, in my case) - is a necessary part of growing up. I'm not saying personal suffering is a requirement of maturity. In fact there's no solid evidence that a traumatic life, even mildly traumatic, somehow makes you a "better person." Rather, I state this as a matter of providing someone the opportunity to cultivate empathy.
It's a paradox to state that, on the one hand I dislike people in general, while on the other hand I'm encouraging people to cultivate empathy. Personally, I'm ambivalent to life itself. I can only speak for the post-industrial Western world perspective here, but at best life is an imposition, and an expensive one at that, that puts people on a treadmill in servitude to corporations and obligation to ever-increasing debt. If you make any kids, they're doomed to the same fate.
In a sense, everyone is suffering, and it's a certainty that everyone will die. The noteworthy thing to consider is that since we're all in the same boat, we can at least make the space around us a little more bearable while we endure it. No one likes to be alone -all- the time, even me. If you can't keep pets, then hanging out with humans every once in a while is the next best thing.
All this to say that: I enjoy going out... Every once in a while. I have no excessive love for my fellow humans. However I can't remain ignorant of the trials, troubles, and misfortune that is experienced by every single one of us. So, when I do go out, I treat others as kindly as I can until my energy wanes. I smile; I offer to help; I ask people to share their thoughts. If someone is having a great stroke of fortune, I congratulate and celebrate with them.
Once I feel the energy flagging, I either do my own thing, or I leave. I have no problem with this. When it comes to doing my own thing, I think I was able to perfect this while running a performance venue. I would busy myself with staffing the box office, or the light board or the sound board, "taking care of business" or at least looking the part. I could pick and choose when and who I spoke with others, for the most part. I made myself available if there were problems to be solved, but other than that I just made it look like I had things to take care of so I wouldn't have to chit-chat (or, very often, I actually did have something to take care of and would have to legitimately avoid aimless conversation or else I'd be like mopping the floor hours after the show was over).
My mind has been lingering on live shows a lot lately, speaking of which. The most frequent music listening I've done lately has been edging towards live recordings, mostly of rock and metal bands. It's an energy far beyond that of listening to a typical album. I remember being in the recording studio (typically, the home office or bedroom of a band mate who had set up a microphone for the purpose) and seemingly pouring my heart out into that mic while gripping the headphones clasped around my head. I would be hoarse after some recording sessions or rehearsals.
But that still pales when compared to some live performances I've been part of, or witnessed. Particularly, when witnessing true talent and skill. There have been many times in the past - and many recently, while watching live performances - when tears have welled-up in my eyes because I've been so moved with the ability of the performers I'm watching. Sometimes it's due to the energy and passion exploding from the stage, sometimes it's from acknowledging that person's skills and artistry.
Watching videos of live shows at home, headphones on, is a happy medium. I can jam out to a live performance, and can cry tears of joy, then in the next moment I sip my coffee while sitting in my desk chair.
I didn't have the chance to discuss walking on my own in nature, but I'll save that for another time.