Why Is Someone Alone?

It was an ordinary evening out with friends. A great film, popcorn, a friendly atmosphere…

Everyone took their seats, creating a quiet, relaxed buzz before the film started. The girl sitting to my left caught my attention. It’s actually her gestures that made me interested. She seemed excited, as if hardly waiting for the film to begin. She was gorgeous, with a remarkably beautiful face and figure. She had a very pleasant voice, too, and her styling was neat and aesthetically pleasing.

The moment I saw the girl I remembered Neruda’s verses:

He who does not find grace in himself…

….Who shuns passion,

And turbulent emotions,

Those which make your eyes glisten,

And your heart beat fast, dies slowly.

She came with a friend and shared her joy only with that girl – a slightly infantile joy though.

The film began. In total darkness, we submitted ourselves to the diffuse reflection of light from the cinema screen, savouring the smell of freshly popped popcorn. A mere five minutes into the film, her mobile lit up. I thought it’s all right, as something probably needed her attention urgently. I kept watching the film, trying very hard not to pay attention to the glow hitting my left temple.

The film’s on, and her mobile was constantly glowing in the dark for 15 minutes. I looked at her. She had a big mobile, really big, so big in fact that I could no longer see the screen clearly. She was flipping through images on her Instagram account. I kept watching.

I never judge people, because I don’t know the reasons behind their actions.

I got used to the glow in the dark on my left, but it wasn’t over. I completely missed a very dark scene on the screen, blinded by the flash. I recoiled instinctively, but from the corner of my eye I saw that she had taken a picture of her naked belly, and part of the groin in her jeans. An accidental shot, perhaps? I kept watching.

A moment of absolute silence – a cue for the key moment in the film – was pierced by the girl’s excited cry. She was laughing, boasting of 20 likes in five minutes for the shot of her belly in the darkness of the film theatre. She had absolutely no intention of stopping.

From the top of her lungs, as if home alone, she launched a series of remarks about the likes and comments, her Instagram and Facebook friends.

“I am above everyone else in this cinema. I am important.”

Compassion is a key motivator of altruism. Without compassion, you rot in the depths of your soul, losing your own life in discontent, blaming others.

Someone was sitting behind the girl, too. The gentleman apologised to her, and kindly asked her to turn off her phone, because he was unable to watch the film. The plot was getting pretty complicated pretty fast. The girl snapped at him, acting as if he was trying to wrench a child from her arms. Her beauty and style were all gone without a trace, wiped out by her banal behaviour.

Stay away from fools and lunatics, always.

I stayed away from this fight, too, because interfering never makes sense. In the eyes of a bystander, any fight looks ridiculous. All you can see is two persons pushing from the opposite sides of the door. One reading the “enter” sign, the other looking at the “exit” sign. Each pushing for their separate realities, achieving nothing. In such situations, the first thing to do is to neglect your own view, and decide that you have something in common, which is crucial – the door is the problem.

After a while, the light of the additional screen next to me died. Our attention was back to the movie, but not for long. Another unexpected cry heralded that the battery had gone dead. She snatched popcorn from her friend, chewing loudly, spilling the food all over the floor, fidgeting, sighing loudly, with little hope that she would ever settle down.

We all breathed a sigh of relief when the film ended. Everyone, but the girl. She was making tearful comments on the happy ending, which “she, a regular glue for idiots, will not live to see.” “Everyone leaves me, and no one wants to be with me,” she whimpered on.

I wonder why.

At the end of the film, I remembered Neruda again:

Dies slowly he who finds no charm in himself.

He who becomes the slave of habit,

who follows the same routes every day,

who never changes pace, dies slowly.

He who does not change his life when he’s unsatisfied with his work or his love,

who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,

to thus follow a dream,

those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,

dies slowly.

If you blame others for your failures, you are victims, and victims are not winners, and can never be.

Live today!

Make today!

Risk Today!

Do not let yourself die slowly!

Don’t forget to be happy!

Pablo Neruda