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Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic Ocean alone.
John Glenn orbited the planet alone.
Reinhold Messner climbed Mt. Everest, without supplemental oxygen, alone. (I Googled that one.)
And I now know how they feel. Because earlier this month I accomplished something just as noteworthy.
I went to the movies alone.
It’s a feat that is rarely attempted. And it’s not for the faint of heart.
In my case that movie was a Saturday night showing of Argo.
And it was much better than the name.
Over the past few weeks I’d been trying to convince a friend, any friend, to see it with me.
“Want to go to a movie?” I’d say and/or text.
“Maybe,” they’d reply and/or type. “What do you want to see?
“Argo,” I’d said.
You’d think I’d asked them to mow my lawn.
Yes, Argo is a boring name.
And nobody wanted to put down $10 for a movie that kind of sounds like a brand of insurance.
So last weekend, while Katie was out of town with the kiddo, I set out alone.
Just like Reinhold Messner.
Though Reinhold didn’t have to suffer the strangely shameful feeling of walking up to the ticket window and asking for a single ticket at the Saturday night late show.
“One for Argo,” I said.
The girl behind the glass gave me a sympathetic look.
It was a look that said, “Poor fellow. He has nothing better to do on a Saturday night than watch a movie about insurance.”
I wanted to say something like ‘No, no! It’s ok! I’ll be just fine! I have a few friends and a family and a dog who loves me!”
She probably would have just patted my hand and said something like, “Sure you do, honey. Now go take your seat by yourself.”
Well I did.
I entered a theater of four other couples. So as not to spook them, I sat far away from them. But not too far away. Again, so as not to spook them.
Yet once the movie began, it was actually kind of nice to be on my own.
It turns out you don’t really need people around you to watch a movie. You just need a movie to, um, watch a movie.
And these days with our cell phones and Facebooks it seems like we’re never really alone.
Maybe it’s good to just take a break and fly solo.
No doubt that’s the idea for those brave souls who set out on their own to conquer the A.T.
It’s a crazy idea in the normal world.
Not only are they leaving behind their friends, family and flat-screen TV.They’re headed to the woods.

Where the wild things are.

But that’s the thing about adventure.
It has to be at least semi-adventurous.

And I salute them.
Like Lindbergh, my friend Neville has no fear of going at it alone either.
Though in a different way.
The day after my solo-movie I bumped into her at a concert-fest and following a few minutes of small talk she had to excuse herself.
“I should probably go dance to this,” she said as she motioned to the main stage when Jason Kinney was playing.
And she did.
As the band played on Neville twirled and skipped in front of the stage. In front of the audience. All by herself.
Right on, Neville.
I choose to follow her lead.
I mean, I didn’t dance. That probably would have disturbed many of the festival goers.
But I could have.
And from now own I will have no fear of the solo movie experience.
Yes, when Argo II: Son of Argo hit’s theaters, if need be, I’ll proudly see it all by myself.
And I may even leave the supplemental oxygen at home.

Matt Aiken is the editor/founder/lone employee of He’s also a reporter in the small trail-friendly town of Dahlonega and wrote a book once. A slightly different version of this column has already been published here


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