Out of Place (17/28)

Twice lately I had the opportunity to be a sore thumb.  In the midst of them, I thought, “It’s probably a good thing every so often to be the outsider in some way.”

A couple weeks ago, I walked home from work.  I was decked in my winter gear for the 25-minute trek.  My path took me down and across a short stretch of the #1 highway, along with a few service roads and back streets (not the ones that rock your body).  Part of my way also went through a couple ditches filled with snow, and into the back end of a parking lot for such shops as Future Shop and Home Depot.

Upon re-entering civilization from down in the ditch and up and over a grader-made snow mountain, my “outsider feeling” arose.  It’s like I could feel the questions in the minds of the drivers: Where did that guy come from?  What kind of fellow walks through the ditches anyway?  What’s he got in that bag he’s carrying?

I felt like I was in Narnia, being checked out by SUV’s in place of talking animals.

Now I confess that my over-active imagination may have been running a touch ahead of itself, but it’s amazing how a simple exercise of pedestrian-ing through a made-for-driving world can make you think.

A week or two earlier, I was in a mall.  All I was carrying with me was a book.  My intent was to grab a drink, sit in the food court, and read.  But before I did, I stopped to browse in a video game store.  I’m not much of a gamer–I’ve never played half of the systems that are popular right now, and I don’t even recognize half the game titles on the shelves.  Mario, Mario, where for art thou, Mario?

Actually, he’s still around–in a hundred forms.  But he’s one of the few familiar faces.  And I mustn’t have the look of a gamer, who fits in.

So the store…

I walk in with my book.

And that’s where the outsider role became mine again.  From some of the looks I received, you’d think I’d just walked into a vampire convention with a wooden stake.  People moved out of my way; conversations stopped.  It’s a book; not a bomb!  If you check your game case, there’s probably a baby of the species inside.  They call it a booklet.  Time for the food court–and make it a stronger drink than you were planning on!

It’s a funny feeling being the outsider, but it’s good to feel it sometimes.

I like to think it might teach me how to be sensitive and welcoming to those who find nothing funny about being on the outside looking in.


One thought on “Out of Place (17/28)


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s