Sometimes one has to leave the apartment. For an agoraphobe like myself, the prospect of leaving the house is both exhilarating and terrifying. Maybe my phobia isn't founded in clinical legitimacy, in fact, I like the outdoors more than the indoors. But, I have found that the geometric grid of the city, full of its square buildings and bright lights is not much different than the inside of my apartment. So, whether I am scared to leave my apartment, or if I just feel trapped because the outdoors looks so much like the indoors, is psychologically debatable.
I went on a quest last night. A quest through the concrete forest to the palace of light and wavering pictures. I walked down town to see a movie. I learned a valuable lesson on the way.
The cold weather forced me to layer my clothing for warmth. My stocking cap was pulled down low, covering my ears, while also covering my friendly cream colored forehead. The 3 sweaters and an my plaid overcoat made me look bulkier and more threatening than I really am. Women and men of smaller stature would cross the street a block before we passed each other -- I am tall and threatening in the cold shadows.
As I approached the theater 20 minutes early, I figured that I would rest and have a cigarette on a bench that I have seen so many old bums rest with a smoke or a drink of malt liquor from crinkled paper bags. I sat on the cold cement bench and crossed my legs, right over left. I struck a match in front of my face and for a brief moment, the city block receded into the darkness, giving way to a brilliant bon fire! An instant later, the shop fronts appeared again, this time behind a curling wisp of smoke.
Then out of nowhere, there was a young guy on a bike before me. The wheels on his bike stopped spinning and he was no longer a biker, but a stationary standing figure. "Hello, you looked like you could use some company," he said. I offered him a smoke but said he had his own and then his mouth was a chimney just like mine. He told me that he was really high, that he just smoked "hella weed". I nodded and smiled.
"See that phone booth over there?" he pointed to a phone booth across the street. "yes". My eyes did see a phone booth. "I got some Indian bitch gonna call me up and suck my dick. See I got this phone number off the internet. I call it when I want some pussy. Those Lumi bitches are wild. Just last night, I call up this number and meet this bitch down town and she fucks me. I was so high. I woke up this morning not even remembering last night. I was drinking and smoking and sniffing oxicotton. So, when I wake up this morning, I see this fine ass Indian bitch laying beside me. I tried to get some pussy this morning, but she goes and tells me she has a boy friend. What a bitch! I think that hoe gave me something too man, I have this wicked itch. We connected though man. It was spiritual, intertwining with a native. Me and Pocahontas. She could have been the one." I told him that it seems kind of sad connecting spiritually with a person with only a burning itch to remember the experience. He looked at me blankly and continued talking.
"Yeah man I just got back from the gay bar. Man I didn't know it was the gay bar. Had all these fags hitting on me. You know, nothing against homos, they are cool they just need to leave me alone. I go into gay chat rooms just to fuck with them. I fuck with them and tell them how much I like sucking cock, then I tell them to meet me some where--but I'm just fucking with em. I'm not a homosexual. I mean, it is ok if you are, I'm not trying to offend you." I tell him that no, I am not a homosexual. "I am so fucked up right now though, can you tell that I am high?" "You seem all alright to me". He asks me if I want to get high. I tell him I quite smoking weed along time ago. A cop drives by and eyes us both. "right right, good for you." he says and then continues talking about blow jobs. I had a strange feeling he was hinting at something.
I wanted to tell him that there is more to life than sex with strangers and drugs that make you forget about fucking those strangers. I wanted to tell him about Jesus and eternity. About something that transcends phone booths and numbers written on bathroom stalls. I asked him what his name was. "Jason". "Jason it was good talking to you, thanks for the company. I am going to go catch a movie but have a good night. " "take care" he said. I left him alone on the street corner, high, waiting for a phone call from Pocahontas.
It doesn't matter who you are exactly, only where you are. In the university square, people expect that I am a student. At work, costumers assume that I am a servant. While smoking a cigarette on a street corner frequented by the down troddened, I am one of them. I am no different than jason, or my professor or Father John or Sonia the housekeeper, we are all God's children. I probably should have invited jason to see the movie with me.