I'm on a brick sidewalk in my favorite city. Even though it's nearly midnight, it's easily 80 degrees, but I'm wearing a light jacket. Sure, I'm a 16 year old girl, but it's crowded- full of adults spilling out of the bright clubs that line Clarke Quay's river. It's nice walking without music in my ears for once.
An article I read an eon ago pops into my mind. People who can't be alone with their thoughts tend to drown them out with constant noise.
Even though various tunes blare out from the crowded dance halls, I feel peace drifting in between strangers. There's a salty-sweet smell- river-air mixing with perfume. It's beautiful how so many people manage to weave in and out without upsetting the flow.
None of them are out alone though. Friends gather around tables, tall pitchers of various alcohols drawing them in like moths to a lamp. I've already been offered spots at tables, complete strangers offering to buy me a drink if I sit and chat with them. It's appalling how many drunk adults believe I'm of age. Of course, I decline, choosing instead to walk around and enjoy the simplicity of being part of a crowd.
I picture what it'd be like if some of my friends were here with me tonight. Some. Huge shout out to Rachel, who'd be an excellent conservationist- a person I could spend literal days talking to. Others, I'm not so sure. My two months here have been filled with nights like these, leaving plenty of room for thinking.
Thinking about how I finally have a break from falsities and people I never really enjoyed being around.
I shake off these thoughts. Maybe these people will change over the summer. Who knows? I know I have. I also know that I've ruined my night by thinking about these things again. Mulling over people who aren't worth it can really damper a Saturday night by the river clubs.
Back to the scene, I guess. My stomach growls, and I look for something to eat. My eyes settle on a small pub tucked into the corner. I look at my phone. Plenty of time to kill.
A smile gets me past the host and into a booth. Weird, considering I'm alone. But I'll take it.
It's a beautiful thing, ordering a table for one. I've found that many people hate going out alone, for fear of being judged. Well I say to hell with it all. If I want to eat, I'm going to treat myself even if I'm by myself.
Over a mess of noodles, I think about my junior year. That's the great thing about being alone in public too. You realize how wonderful it is to think. Normally, I'm not conscious of all my thoughts. But when I'm alone, I catch how that red dress reminds me of a mall from my childhood, or how much a friend would like this soup.
After paying for my meal, I'm back out on the streets. And the party has continued like I didn't even matter. Which was true- I was just a unit in this cacophony. I figure it's time to head back.