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.