Alone in the crowd

Hopefully I did not expect to have a great time. I didn’t.

Usually, receiving friends at home and synchronizing our lives during a midnight conversation is the kind of stuff that makes me shine. I love it.

Especially when it happens earlier than 2am, not after a week full of work, and not after finishing the most frightening and depressing novel I’ve read for a long time (La ligne noire - Grangé).

Let’s say it wasn’t the most brightening Friday evening for a little while.

Taking breakfast in bed with friends on a saturday morning always seems to me like a fun way to start the weekend. Actually,it is fun to see how newcomers to my city discover what lies “out there” and need to decide what they want to visit for the day. And it is a pleasure to see that they are able to take care of themselves and actually agree to help me in household duties.

Unfortunately, it becomes somewhat less fun when they start reading erotic magazines and start arguing and bitching about how difficult it is to find a girlfriend, how men should assert their manlihood to attract beautiful women, or how difficult it is to find an interesting country to live in besides the USA.

Then there was the party organized by my company yesterday. The free admission to the Blue man group show in Amsterdam (wonderful light effects, surprising drums), the large room in the Mövenpick Hotel and the after-party were planned to make the day unique in our memories.

I was quite curious about the whole event. The idea of gathering colleagues into a common activity is full of good intention and I appreciate that. Besides, it was the occasion to see people I work with everyday in an uncommon outfit (the dress code was “black tie”) and with a mindset detached from the work environment. That was nice, as well.

And still, I managed to be late and delay the departure to the event. Having left in a hurry, I could not relax during the whole dinner and show, and the stress kept me closed to whatever nice feelings the blue men were trying to shove into their audience. The hotel room was a sterilized palace that kept me thinking about the insane amount of money that was spent, like everything else for this evening, for no purpose other than luxury and social pretense. And the DJ during the after-party was absolutely terrible, preventing me from melting with the music and forgetting about how utterly alone everyone was.

And that is all I remember about this week-end: we just don’t connect together.

The unfinishing and unfinished rant of the single heterosexual middle-class males; the morals and priority system of parents; the life projects and value systems of corporate co-workers: I hate them. Having received a good education, I smile and keep up the conversation in a civilized manner; however my forced smile is the upper level of a thick fog of the utter boredom, and I hate them for that feeling too.

And yet, there is hope; for this morning I could feel glowing inside me a burning desire to tear their social exoskeleton apart, blow the dust out of their dormant brains, and shake them until whatever flame of humanity left in their core starts to shine again. And before I opened the curtains and left the grey sky above Amsterdam successfully dim this glow and put me back on the tracks of a featureless normal winter day, I convinced myself that one day, I will try. Somehow.