Diffusion (verb): the movement of molecules or atoms from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration.; the process by which molecules intermingle as a result of their kinetic energy of random motion.
The definition is appropriate, as this past weekend, I was diffused.
Though it wasn’t the atoms or molecules in my body being separated, I did feel the sense of separation as I went through ALONE’s latest offering, Diffusion, the first of four indices that will take place in 2015.
While last year (and January) was all about The Enola Body, this year’s focus is on unweaving the rainbow. While the exact course of action on how to do so has not yet been revealed, after this weekend’s event, I am excited to see how it goes.
While in the past, ALONE has been a solitary experience, they have been pushing the limits of that lately with how you interact with the other people participating in the event. Honestly, in my opinion, it’s for the better. In fact, if it wasn’t for January’s massive scavenger hunt, I wouldn’t have made some great friends, many of which I re-connected with at this event.
But I digress…but only slightly, because said friends were quickly separated from me.
ALONE: Diffusion started off like many of their other events; we received a location as to where we had to be two days before hand, and had to show up at our scheduled time. We arrived, checked in, and after a few moments, were swept into a darkened lobby. A video about how light reacts to certain objects, much like one you’d see in a science class, played on a screen.
As we stood there, the small room began to be packed with more people. I looked to my fiancé, who was fine outside the building, but now carried a sense of discomfort on her face. As this was her first time doing an ALONE event, I was curious to see how she would reaction when it was all over. Alas, before I had a chance to comfort her in anyway (“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll make it out alive” is what I planned on saying), I noticed that folks were, individually, being grabbed by stage hands and brought into the next room.
I smiled, knowing my turn was coming up. Soon, I was whisked away…where the real experience began.
For something such as ALONE, which has no conventional plot like as a film or play, it is hard review without spoiling some of the specifics of the experience. I have to speak in generalized terms. Unlike most “haunts,” ALONE’s goal isn’t to frighten you with jump scares or traditional Halloween-like tactics. Their main goal, at least from what I take away from it, is to let you experience something.
What that something is…well, that is entirely up to you: whether it is disorientation, anxiety, fear of the unknown, anger, joy, and so on, you will feel something. You may even feel all of those emotions throughout the course of the experience. And that’s perfectly normal, as well.
Throughout the hour or so I was in the experience, I went through a number of things. I watched part of a play (that I was actually in during high school). I was aggressively handled. I was tenderly touched. I crawled on the floor. I observed. I obeyed. I was thrust back into reality, and then out again. I was disoriented by the rainbow. I danced on a table with one of my friends and a complete stranger, who may or may not have been part of the experience.
But, at the end of it, I came out feeling something. In my case, it was a good feeling. I enjoyed what had happened in there, whatever it was. I didn’t piece every bit of the puzzle together yet, but I’m getting there. I walked out knowing I had fun, and to me, that is what matters.
That’s not to say everything was perfect. There are two things that stick out in my mind a bit that could be improved upon in the next index. There was an actor that was slightly distracting in the opening scene because he did not seem to know his lines. Also, the behavior of one of the other participants got a little TOO aggressive at one point for some folks’ liking (of which, I am aware, ALONE had no control over). That said, the entire experience as a whole was quite positive.
As for the name of the event itself, and how it related to what happened, I wasn’t quite sure. It wasn’t until later on, while sitting at a bar up the street, that my friend Taylor brought up a good point while discussing our experiences. Referring back to the earlier definition of the word “diffusion”, we were, quite literally, diffused. While parts of ALONE were experienced in a group setting, others were quite singular. We went back and forth between the two, quite literally being “diffused” in and out of a group of people. To me, that fits perfectly.
At the end of the day, is ALONE for everyone? Probably not. In fact, another one of my friends told me, (again, while at the bar later that evening), that he didn’t entirely enjoy Diffusion. “But,” he went on, “I felt something. And that is what matters.”
In my time with ALONE, I’ve learned that it’s best just to welcome whatever they have for you with open arms. Embrace it, experience it, and long for the next experience, to see what comes next. Not everyone walks away with the same feelings. Not everyone walks away having experienced the exact same show. But we all walk away with something; something learned, something new about ourselves, some sort of emotion that will leave us talking about it for days.
ALONE is meant for you to experience in whatever way you’d like, and take away from it what you can. And to me, they achieve that goal perfectly.
We’re far from finished unweaving the rainbow. We still have three more indices to go through, and I’m sure more of the story will become clear as time goes on. I caught bits and pieces of it while in Diffusion, but I’m still not 100% sure where it will go. And I am OK with that. We still have Refraction in August, Reflection in September, and the conclusion, Absorption, in October.
What is clear to me is that I cannot wait to see where we go next.
For more information on ALONE, and to be kept informed about their latest events, be sure to visit www.thealoneexperience.com.