Deleted Scenes: The Weekend Alone

A while back, my wife and I did the math on it, and determined that by the time I turn 33 in 2014, we will have been together for more than half our lives. I’m not on my own often, but this past weekend—brilliant as she is—she flew to take part in an academic conference on the other side of the country and I had a few days by myself.

Isn’t the stereotypical response here that guy, void of wife for even two to three hours’ time, reverts to simpering manchild—is unshowered, in his underwear, gut hanging out of the bottom of his shirt, gravy stain down his front, scratching his genitals as he drinks and watches hour after hour of whatever boob-laden tv might happen to be on? I didn’t do that.

My weekend along went like this: Friday night, I dropped the dog off after work (because yes, I’m not only the fat guy in sandals, but I’m the fat guy in sandals who brings his dog to work; it’s a blessed existence) and headed into Brooklyn to see a band called Floor at the venerable-if-crowded St. Vitus bar. It was an evening of heavy tones and upbeat groove, and it didn’t go particularly late, but it was still after 1 a.m. when I got home. I saw some friends, bought Floor’s 8CD Below And Beyond box set for an astoundingly cheap $25, and then made my way back to Jersey and ate some leftovers from a pasta dinner I’d made Thursday before checking my email and crashing out.

Saturday was the real test, but I had plans for that as well. In the morning, I woke up and grabbed a bagel sandwich (steak egg and cheese with salt pepper ketchup on an egg bagel, thank you please), got my oil changed and took the dog for a walk in the park. There was some work to do, so back home after to bang that out, and then in the afternoon, I split out early to hit up Vintage Vinyl en route to another show, this one in Philly. A band from Austria called Been Obscene were in town for the last night of a quickie U.S. tour, playing with my favorite locals Clamfight and a few others.

Best part? It’s a two-hour drive for me, and it was an early show. Not a matinee, but a 7:30 start and over by 11 because the venue, Kung Fu Necktie, had a late gig booked. Hardly convenient for the bands, but I felt like the universe was doing me favors. Vintage Vinyl was a success—if you measure success in the outward flow of dollars, which I do when it comes to record shopping—and the evening’s entertainment was choice. I was home by 1:30, even with stopping in Morristown for empanadas, and though you’ve never known true human misery if you’ve never been stuck behind someone doing 25 miles an hour after midnight on Rt. 206 North, I had plenty of swords-to-the-face on late-night Game Of Thrones to provide catharsis.

Easter was another walk with the dog, brunch with family, then some purposeful loafing before picking up The Mrs. at the airport and hitting a diner afterwards as is our tradition. If I spent part of the afternoon in my underwear, it was only because I was doing laundry and wanted to throw all my pants in the same wash, and on the whole, I thought I did pretty well for being on my own. Most of the time, I was on the go, but at no point was I asleep surrounded by empty, overturned beer bottles, and I got to see some killer bands. Still, I’m glad she’s home.

Also glad I got the laundry done, though there’s still some to be folded.

JJ Koczan