I’m Out in Public! Whoo-Hoo!!

I’m out here, man. I’d doin’ it. I’m Experiencing Others.

I’m at a coffee shop. I’m sitting on a round stool that goes with the tall, round, shiny, 80′s-style oak table upon which is now my laptop and my Cwasant Le’ Tasty. Lionel Richie’s “Easy Like Sunday Morning” wafts through the air like a melodious, weekendy-inspired philosophy with which I have no particular affinity.

I grew up thinking of Sunday mornings as sheer hell. That’s when both my parents — or whatever Parental Combo I was just then living with — were home. I feel terrible  saying that (and know my dad, who wouldn’t know a computer from a shoe-box, will never read it). But … there it is. What can we do with the truth, but at the very least honor the sheer weight of its integrity?

I hated Sunday mornings. No use denying it.

When I was a kid, my #1 priority in life was to get out of the house as fast as I could, and stay out as long as I could. I was never home if I could possibly help it. For years, in fact, I would get up in the dead of night — one, two in the morning — climb out my bedroom window, and basically spend the next two or three hours roaming around my dark, eerily quiet neighborhood like some kind of skinny, pubescent ghost-freak. Being sure to remain in the shadows, I used to watch them making donuts at a nearby Winchell’s Donuts. Oil looked hot.

Hey! James Brown’s “Mother Popcorn” just came on!

This is the first record I ever, ever bought. I was 10 years old, at a garage sale, and I paid a dime for a 45-rpm (kids: don’t ask) for this record.

I was then, and remain to this day, a complete James Brown freak.

Anyway, I’m out here. And I pretend, a little, that it makes me uncomfortable — and, in fact, it does, a little — but the bottom line, for me, is that I’m rarely if ever more comfortable than when I’m out in the world doing Solitary Thing thing, surrounded by people I don’t know at all.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://samwrites2.wordpress.com samwrites2

    John,

    "Get on the good foot, uh-huh!"

    -Sam

  • soulfaith

    John,

    Congratulations on getting out! Like you I was never home if I could escape outside to my friend's house or roaming the streets at night, so I know just how you feel. It's a great feeling when the music's right and all seems right with the world. Cool!

  • http://wineymomma.wordpress.com wineymomma

    Being out somewhere by myself like you are right now scares that crap out of me. I am getting better at it though.

    I do like to people watch though. It is one of my favorite things to do but I usually like company while I am watching.

  • http://samwrites2.wordpress.com samwrites2

    Check out the 45 at this site… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Popcorn

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    That's it. That's the exact 45 I bought!! How fun. Thank you so much for sending this.

  • Second Michele

    I'm proud of you John.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Winey: What scares you? Are you serious?

  • http://wineymomma.wordpress.com wineymomma

    Seriously. Being alone in a crowded place has never been my thing. I went to a public high school that was huge and well over capacity for the building that it was in. I just always felt claustrophobic in the halls. I have been working on this for years and it has become less of an issue for me but I get almost into a panic state if I am meeting some one some where and get there before them.

    Lots of prayer and work to get over this!

  • http://wineymomma.wordpress.com wineymomma

    And I grew up in a large family in a small town so I never had to spend time alone…I just never got used to it….

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, wow. What a unique challenge. I have just the OPPOSITE of that. I'm not keen on being crowded, or anything–like anyone, I need my space–but if I'm at a mall, or any kind of place where lots and lots of people have gathered, I actually catch this weird buzz. I really zone out. And it's a high I really, really like. I'll just … zone, and sort of … bliss-out, basically. I can sit in a crowded mall-type place for hours and hours on end. I'm insanely fascinated by people.

  • http://samwrites2.wordpress.com samwrites2

    John,

    You’re most welcome.

    Winey: You sure must have conquered that fear somewhat on your trip to the aquarium because your blog entry about it was excellent. I would have thought you had more fear of I-25.

    -Sam


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