I wore my brand new birthday sweater
not yet knowing
the fuzzy balls would soon sprout all over
like overnight dandelions.
I cursed myself for arriving
before the lights dimmed.
Better to risk a bad seat
than endure curious stares
from dozens of couples.
I invented alibis, just in case:
“He’s in the bathroom.”
“He’s buying popcorn.”
Then—“He stood me up.”
But no one spoke.
Why didn’t I wait for the rental?
I’m tired of too much school and work but no life.
I’m tired of unreturned emails from my best friend.
I’m tired of this crushing isolation.
A night out will do me good, I reasoned.
As the movie unfolded in the dark
the melancholy thorns pricked me
while I sought a beautiful escape.
No longer naive
I rushed to my car before the credits rolled
and my loneliness multiplied
like mushrooms after rain.