Home Alone for the Holidays, Again

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There is someone for everyone. Isn’t there?

Never married or in a serious relationship, Gary worked five days a week and half a day Saturday in a machine shop. He had been employed there for 15 years, since he graduated from high school. It was a good job with a good wage, benefits, and overtime, and as much as the routine drove him mad after a while, he needed that in his life to ground him. He was saving to buy a house, he kept telling himself, but spent too much of his money foolishly on fixing up his cars, an old Pontiac Trans Am Firebird and a still older Chevrolet Corvette that needed extensive bodywork, time, and money, and on gambling.

He dreamt of hitting the jackpot one day, winning millions of dollars, and quitting his job. Only, he never won more than a free bet. Now, he wished he had all the money back that he had squandered on lottery tickets, football games, and the horses.

He drank some, smoked a little, and bought a lot of takeout food. He lived alone and was lonelier than he thought he was, had it not been for his dog, a mutt named Spike. He told himself that he didn’t have time for a girlfriend or needed one, right now. After being rebuffed by one girl he asked out and rejected by another that he liked, he convinced himself that a girlfriend was too much trouble and having to answer to someone else was not worth the effort. Secretly, he wanted one, though, and kids, eventually, which was another issue. Many of the women looking for a man, now, came with an instant family. He did not want the responsibility of someone else’s kids. He did not want to have to deal with the custody issues of an ex-husband or boyfriend visiting her kids. He loved his sister’s kids, though, and was generous with them at birthdays and at Christmas.

Only, where could he meet someone? How does he go about it? He didn’t go to bars or clubs. Besides, that was not the place to meet a nice girl. That was a place to get lucky, and he had done that a few times, whenever the mood struck, but the sex was meaningless and empty. Thinking back, he didn’t even remember their names or their faces. They were just body parts and too many of them were just looking for a good time without the romance, love, and commitment. It seemed odd for a man to think that. Usually, it is the woman who is looking for commitment. Gary would eagerly commit, if only he could find the right one.

His friends told him that it will happen, when he least expects it. He believed that for a decade, but now that magic had disappeared in a puff of loneliness that hung over his head like a dark cloud.

It was easier in high school to meet someone, although, he never hooked up with anyone, didn’t even attend the prom. He was a loner, didn’t play sports, wasn’t popular or had a lot of friends. He was an average guy in every way.

Only, living alone, as he did for so long, he was worried about being deemed as weird. He didn’t think he was weird, but when you live alone for a long time, it just happens without you knowing. He thought about his neighbor, weird, old Mr. Thomas wetting down his sidewalk and forcing him to cross the street every time he walked his dog, fearing his dog would pee on his property. He just celebrated his 33rd birthday alone. He invited his landlady, Mrs. McCormick, down for a drink, but she begged out telling him that her arthritis was bothering her. When she declined his invitation, loneliness hugged his body like the cold chill of death. It was depressing to be sitting there alone on your birthday.

“You need to go out more, Gary,” she said. “You need to find a nice, young woman.”

Easier said than done, he thought. He went to Blockbuster and rented a few movies, the action hero, shoot ’em up and blow ’em up type and sat in his chair drinking beer, until he fell asleep.

He hated this time of year with the holidays looming big on the horizon. It was difficult not to get sucked up in all the activity. It was everywhere. He always had Thanksgiving at his sister’s house and with her family, but this year he made an excuse. He was tired of being the fifth wheel and sitting there while his sister paraded her friends in and out hoping some attraction or chemistry would spark a relationship. He told her that he was having Thanksgiving with a friend, a woman, who he made up so that she wouldn’t think him weird. Only, he stayed home alone, ate leftover Chinese, watched a movie, and went to bed. Now, he felt, he was getting weird.

He dreaded Christmas. He dreaded going to the malls with the music, the crowds, and the decorations. For the past couple of years, he ordered all of his gifts for his nephews and nieces on line. He bursa escort hated the forced activity of the holidays that pulled him along like a current, only he was drowning in loneliness and self-pity. It would suit him just fine, if he did not have to go out, until after January when the cold chill of winter kept everyone indoors. Last year, instead of going to his sister’s house, he went to the movies and sat there all day. He paid to watch three movies, until his ass hurt and his legs cramped from sitting too long.

He used to like to bowl and play pool, but he stopped going to the bowling alley and the pool hall for the same reasons. Every time he went bowling, there were couples on dates, friends with friends and/or teams bowling, people together laughing and having fun, and the same thing with the pool hall. Ringing his bell of aloneness, their noise was deafening and their happiness spotlighted his loneliness making him feel even more isolated. Suddenly, pool halls have gone upscale and have become a hot place to bring a date. He had no one to bring or ask out to bowl or to play pool, so he gave it up. Instead, he bought a video game of bowling that he plays by himself or with another imagined partner on the computer and bought a pool table that his landlady told him that he could keep down her cellar.

Judy worked downtown, as an administrative assistant. She went to night school at the community college taking courses towards her bachelor’s degree in business administration. Twenty-five years old, when she decided to return to school to earn her college degree, this, her eighth year going to night school, was her last. She was a senior, finally, this year, and will graduate in June.

“Hooray,” was about the only excitement that she could muster. It had been a long haul working while attending night school. Only, with no one there to share in her success, her educational endeavors rang hollow.

She lived alone with her cat, Simon, named after Simon Cowell from American Idol. She was a TV junkie hooked on potato chips, chocolate chip ice cream, and reality TV, Big Brother, Survivor, Great American Race, American Idol, of course, but her favorite was The Bachelor. She envied the women who appeared on the show and enjoyed predicting which one he would pick, as the one to ask her to marry.

They were all so pretty. She was plain, but not unattractive. Perhaps, if she lost a few pounds, did something with her hair, and bought some new clothes, she could warrant some attention from men, but she never took the time to do anything special about her appearance, other than to look neat, but never pretty. She was busy working, going to school, and doing homework. She really did not have time for a man, she convinced herself to believe. Maybe, next year, after she graduates and when she celebrates her 34th birthday, she will take her hunt for a man more seriously and, who knows, even go blonde or get a perm, she didn’t know which.

God, where did the time go? It didn’t feel that long ago that she graduated high school, now it is nearing her 15th anniversary since graduation. She didn’t attend the 10th reunion. She had no one to bring with her and did not want to show up there alone, as she had done at her prom. Besides, Mary Ellen, her best friend from high school, the last to marry and get pregnant, went to the gathering. Judy felt funny being the only one who was still single and unattached, which is why she stayed home eating potato chips, chocolate chip ice cream, and watching reality TV.

She hated this time of year with the holidays looming big on the horizon. It was difficult not to get sucked up in all the activity. It was everywhere. She always had Thanksgiving at her brother’s house and with his family, but this year she made an excuse. She was tired of being the fifth wheel and sitting there while her brother paraded his friends in and out hoping some attraction or chemistry would spark a relationship. She told him that she was having Thanksgiving with a friend, a man, who she made up so that he wouldn’t think her weird. Only, she stayed home alone, ate leftover Chinese, watched a movie, and went to bed. Now, she felt as if she was getting weird.

She dreaded Christmas. She dreaded going to the malls with the music, the crowds, and the decorations. For the past couple of years, she ordered all of her gifts for her nephews and nieces on line. She hated the forced activity of the holidays that pulled her along like a current, only she was drowning in loneliness and self-pity. It would suit her just fine, if she did not have to go out, until after January when the cold chill of winter kept everyone indoors. Last bursa escort bayan year, instead of going to her brother’s house, she went to the movies and paid to sit there all day. She paid to watch three movies, until her ass hurt and her legs cramped from sitting too long.

She used to like to bowl and play pool, but she stopped going to the bowling alley and the pool hall for the same reasons. Every time she went bowling, there were couples on dates, friends with friends and/or teams bowling, people together laughing and having fun, and the same thing with the pool hall. Ringing her bell of aloneness, their noise was deafening and their happiness spotlighted her loneliness making her feel even more isolated. Suddenly, pool halls have gone upscale and have become a hot place to bring a date. She had no one to bring or ask out to bowl or to play pool, so she gave it up. Instead, she bought a video game of bowling that she plays by herself or with another imagined partner on the computer and bought a pool table that she keeps down her cellar.

Christmas Day, and again she found herself sitting at the movies alone. She was the only one in the theatre. She remembered last year, there were at least a dozen people. She remembered looking around at them to see what kind of people go to the movies on Christmas. They all had one thing in common, isolation, they were all alone and lonely, no doubt.

She felt odd, as if she was trespassing, being the only one there in the theatre. It was a surreal feeling to be sitting alone amid all the empty chairs, suddenly looking so much like neat rows of tombstones at the cemetery where she goes to visit her Mom and Dad. Still, she preferred an empty theatre than a full one with couples talking in hushed tones, holding one another, necking, and laughing. She tried not to dwell on it, that she was the only one there, but it was depressing.

Now, she felt that she was wasting her life. She wondered what it was all for, returning to school for her degree. Her pending graduation is an empty victory in her life without someone there to share it. Now, she dreaded her graduation day, thinking about all those with families who will come see them graduate and share their moment.

Maybe, she should have chosen a different movie instead of this one, The Perfect Holiday, about a girl asking a department store Santa Claus to find her divorced mother a new man. Now, how depressing is that? She hoped that it was a comedy.

Suddenly, the door opened and the light from the corridor lit her up and cast her shadow on the silver screen making her a temporary star. She turned to look without staring to see that it was a man. She couldn’t make out anything else about him, as he was illuminated by the light until the door closed behind him and then he was cast in darkness, as was she. She felt invisibly alone sitting there in row 13, seat D. Yet, at least, now, there was someone else there with her in this big, dark and cold room.

She thought it weird that the man sat in the same row as her by at the end, seat A, the seat closest to the aisle. Maybe, he would start a conversation with her. Maybe, he was going to put the make on her and ask her out to a movie, she thought, laughing to herself. She watched him out of the corner of her eye, curious about his appearance while wondering what he looked like. She thought that they should do this on the Bachelor, as a way for him to meet each woman, sitting alone with each woman like this in an empty movie theatre, and without the limousines pulling up to the curb and dropping off five women at a time. Nah, that’s kind of depressing, she thought.

She couldn’t see him very well, unless she turned and stared. Maybe, she hoped, he would start a conversation and they could become friends. It would be nice to finally have someone in her life, someone to do things with, go places, have a conversation, and someone to take with her to her college graduation and her 15th high school reunion. She wondered if he bowled or played pool or if he enjoyed watching reality TV. Wouldn’t it be weird if this guy was the one? Already, they have much in common. They are here on Christmas day at the movies and seeing the same movie. A rush of romanticism took hold of her.

She thought about holding his hand, as he slipped his other arm around her shoulder and leaned in to her to steal a kiss. After being forced to sit and watch so many other couples, she always fantasized about making out in the movies. She could feel her face flush with the thought of him feeling her breast in the cover of darkness of the theatre. Her nipples became erect with the thought of him going up her blouse escort bursa and beneath her bra. She could feel the sensation of his big hand cupping her tit while his finger found her nipple. Her pussy moistened with the thought of him parting her knees, continuing up her skirt, and slowly moving his hand between her thighs; touching her where no one has touched her in such a very long time.

She turned to smile and say hi, but froze, when she saw the man was holding and stroking his penis in his hand while smiling at her. She was horrified, but could not look away. She stared at him holding his cock. He stared at her before looking down at himself and back at her, as he continued stroking himself. Normally, she would have screamed, gotten up, summoned the manager, and reported the pervert. This was not the first time that she had been accosted by a deviate at the cinema. Only, this time, the experience hurt her to the bone. It took the life right out of her. She silently started sobbing thinking how pathetic that this is the only type of man that she attracts. She sobbed until her sobs became louder and until she was weeping.

From out of nowhere, another man stood behind the man who had been exposing his penis to Judy and yanked him out of his seat by his neck. He threw him up the aisle and booted his ass while yelling at him to leave. The man scampered from the theatre covering his nakedness with his coat.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” said Judy nodding her head without looking up at the man and wiping her tears with a tissue and blowing her nose.

“Do you want me to call the manager?”

“No,” she said looking up at him, finally. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m crying.” She smiled, “It isn’t like this hasn’t happened to me before. I must have a pervert magnet attached to me somewhere.”

“That’s funny, pervert magnet.” He laughed. “For him to have seen it, it must glow in the dark.”

“Yeah, I can see them selling that as a novelty online,” she laughed and he did, too. “A glow in the dark pervert magnet for $9.99.”

“I’m Gary,” he said holding out his hand. “And I don’t think that I’m a pervert, so your magnet theory is not always accurate.

“Judy,” she said, looking up at him and shaking his hand and forcing a smile.

“Come here often?”

“Apparently, just on Christmas,” she said with a chuckle while wiping her eyes. “I was here last year.”

“You were?” He smiled when she looked at him. “That’s funny.”

“What’s funny about that, having to go to the movies alone two consecutive Christmases?”

“I was here, too?”

“Really?”

“Yeah, holidays are tough for me,” he said with an expulsion of air, as if he was admitting defeat.

“Me, too. I hate them.”

“I hate Jingle Bells. They play it so much, starting at the end of October and not stopping until the middle of January.”

“I hate Jingle Bells, too.”

There was an uncomfortable silence. Gary stood in the aisle and she looked up at him.

“Do you mind if I sit?”

“No, I mean, sure,” she said patting the chair; seat C, next to her on her right.

He sat and there was another uncomfortable silence while they waited for the movie to begin and they sat listening to the snack bar commercial.

“Pardon me for being so forward, but I’m not too good at this sort of thing.” He smiled again when she turned to him. “Are you seeing someone?”

“Me? No. Just my cat, Simon.”

“I have a dog, Spike.”

“I think I remember you,” she said staring at his face. “Didn’t you wear one of those giant furry hats like the Russians wear in Siberia?”

“Yeah, well, it was pretty cold last year and that hat is really warm. It’s real beaver. I could walk around naked wearing only that hat and still be warm enough.”

“Okay, my pervert meter is starting to register.”

They both started laughing.

“Harry Potter,” he with a snap of his fingers and pointing at her after looking more closely at her.

“Harry Potter? What do you mean, Harry Potter?”

“You wore that red and yellow scarf like the one that Harry Potter wears.”

“Yeah, I like to read. I read all her books, J. K. Rowling, and my sister bought me that scarf for Christmas as a joke because I bored her to tears talking about Harry Potter and magic.”

Again, the silence was unbearable.

“Do you want to get out of here and grab something to eat?”

Judy looked at him, shocked that this chance encounter happened in this way and so quickly. Her friends told her that if it was meant to happen, it will. Yet, after years of waiting, she gave up on fate, kismet, and destiny. Normally, she would have rebuffed his advance, but he did save her from that pervert after all, and he seemed nice.

“Sure. Why not? I’ll follow you in my car.

They left the theatre arm in arm while singing Jingle Bells.

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