Day 11: The Martian
I just got through watching the Martian at a theater in East Windsor, about twenty minutes out of Princeton. I'd never been to the theater before but had been hunting for a good one since I got here. The Starplex, as this one is called, attracted me with its cheap admission ($5.50), student discounts, and reclining chairs. All in all it was a lovely Sunday evening, even if I had to go it alone. I thought about inviting a friend, or at least a peer, but just about everyone on campus spends Sunday nights reading in preparation for the week to come. It's fine, though. I am of the firm opinion, in spite of vehement opposition from some, that there is nothing pathetic about going to see a movie by yourself.
I'm not even sure who I would invite if I wanted to. I'm still in a bit of a relational limbo here. There are plenty of charming, friendly people, and all in all I get alone fine with everybody, but so far there's a notable absence of, how shall I put it... best-friend material. Nobody to scratch that itch for me yet.
Which is why, for the bulk of the Martian, I felt a bizarre kinship with Matt Damon's protagonist Mark Watney. For those of you who haven't seen it, the story centers on a botanist from a Mars expedition who gets left behind on the red planet after his shipmates escape during a dust storm. The balance of the film portrays Watney's ingenuity and survival instinct while he waits, alone, to be rescued.
And I guess that's why I related so much to the character. Not that I'm waiting to be rescued (per se), but I sure do feel alone. I mean, the situations don't really compare; Watney was the only human on his planet. I'm just having trouble making friends, no matter how surrounded I am by people.
Still, there was something that echoed within me about the character's attempts at survival. He expended every bit of his effort just to get by, for more than a year.
Just getting by. Alone.
It's not nice, but it is familiar.
At least Watney got a happy ending. We'll see about me.