Happy Hour: On Drinking Alone
This afternoon I was overcome by an odd desire; the desire to be sitting at a bar all by myself somewhere far, far away. I’m not sure where that urge came from, but it may have something to do with the fact that I’ve not traveled anywhere in the last three months. I may be starting to go through withdrawal. From travel, that is. Not alcohol. Travel is far more addictive.
In my regular life, I don’t go to bars solo. But when I’m traveling solo–well, that’s a different story.
There’s just something magical about the anonymity a bar in a strange city provides. Anonymity and freedom. Want to strike up a conversation with the man or woman to your left or right? Go ahead. They don’t know you. And that unfamiliarity breeds friendship. You’d be surprised at the things I’ve learned about people sitting at a bar once they realized they’d never, ever see me again.
I’ve sat on bar stools alone in every place I’ve ever visited, from New Orleans to Yosemite to Walt Disney World (the first one makes sense, the other two just prove how determined I am to find a bar somewhere. Anywhere). And I’ve always made new friends. From the doctor traveling alone to a convention on Cape Cod to the cokehead chef in California to the ex-marine at the pub on Bermuda, I am a part of all that I have met (Alfred Lord Tennyson). And we all have one thing in common–the desire to share a drink with another human being. I have to believe this is a natural human drive. Because if I don’t believe it, I may need to start going to meetings.
Hello. My name is Tracy…