You may have noticed that I did not publish yesterday. I'll admit, I almost didn't publish again today. I'm working with a team writing an article for journal publication and it has eaten almost all of my free time this weekend. I'm only here now because I've had problems with Word and can't figure out how to do what I need to do. After frustrating myself, I've given up. So, I'm got time this morning that I didn't think I'd have.
We did get out yesterday for lunch in a food court and to catch a movie. We saw 'Albert Nobbs' and my reaction is so complex, I can't even think of how to write it. Then, let me comment on the food court experience. I love food courts. It's taken me a while to come to this conclusion. For the longest time I found them noisy and crowded and difficult to get around. I still find that true. However, now I see them as something very peculiarly democratic.
We're all there.
I don't think I've ever been to a food court that hasn't been bustling with diversity. Everyone is there, everyone is talking and eating and communing. As a really fat guy in a wheelchair, I always draw attention when I pull up to a table, but moments later, people are distracted by their food, by other newcomers, by the very act of being out in public. I like being surrounded by difference. I like the size and the texture of the human community. I like seeing all the different colours and shapes and sizes. I like seeing all the different ways of being, ways of communicating, ways of moving. I like seeing the old feed the young and the young inspire the old. I like it all. I like that Joe had Thai, I had Indian, the table next to us had burgers and the guy across has spags. Tables full of diversity surrounded by a diversity of choices.
Yesterday we ran into someone we met before and the atmosphere of the food court was one of spontaneity and welcome. Our little crowd grew as others joined and we all laughed and talked. About nothing. About everything. The informality of the place dictated that we be simply ourselves in each other's presence. It was fun. Being on the road can be lonely so it was a break from our own company.
Leaving the food court to go to the theatre, was like leaving a safe place and entering one much less so. From the mass of humanity we became individuals all eyeing each other, weighing and comparing value. I wonder why I feel more like an individual a crowd than I do anywhere else. They say 'it takes a village' ... I'm not sure that what it takes isn't simply a food court.