Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hiding Places

In an undeveloped cul-de-sac, there's a little outlet that's a perfect fit for my car. There's no one around. I go there when I'm not ready to go home, when I need to be completely, utterly, alone, away, disconnected. When I park there, I turn off the car and lock my doors, and I just sit. After just a few minutes of solitude, my mind is clear. I feel rejuvenated.

I've always had similar spots. In college, there was a couch in an empty part of the student center, where I would nap between classes, curled up under my jacket. When I worked for the airlines, I would take my breaks in the abandoned areas of the terminal. Airports can be extremely relaxing. At my last job, I found a dark, quiet hallway to escape to. In high school, I would sometimes eat lunch in an empty parking lot, sheltered by a row of pine trees.

Even in the city, it's possible to hide. As a matter of fact, it's even easier. People don't notice you there. I love melting into crowds. One of the best places to hide is the mall food court. I have spent many hours sipping my Sbarro soda and watching people there.

These little secret hiding spots are important. Ever since I was making private blanket-forts in the living room, I've made sure there is always somewhere to disappear when things get to be a little too much. Solitude is so therapeutic.

1 comment:

Erik said...

In Atlanta I always used to go to the food court in Lenox Mall, and in Austin it was always the food court at the Barton Square mall. The latter being much cleaner and safer. Now I just ride the bus around with the rubes. Pretty soon I'll be too old to do this and still "blend in", people will call social services to help the "confused old man" get home.