I need to get out more.

Or something. For some reason yet undiscerned, while I have no problem traipsing across twenty-two states in twenty-one days, I come down with the shivers at the thought of driving twenty miles to Quail Springs Mall.

And this doesn't make any sense. It's not a budget-blowing trip, generally — maybe a buck-eighty worth of gas for the round trip, plus the toll if I decide to take the Kilpatrick — nor do I tend to spend unseemly amounts of money there. (Of course, I don't have unseemly amounts of money, but that's a different issue entirely.)

Maybe it's another manifestation of that You Do Not Belong Here demon that pops up when I find myself taking a shortcut through upscale residential areas, the snarky little bastard that feels compelled to remind me that my decisions in life have left me with low income potential and high debt load, and then rubs it in with "You'll never live anywhere even half this nice." Which is, of course, true, but it's a hell of a time to point that out.

Then again, Quail Springs isn't all that upscale; it has a Sears store, fercrissake. And JCPenney. If I were truly spooked at being in the presence of people far richer than I, I would never have made it into the tower at Fifty Penn Place, a far snootier retail compound, last month. There must be some other factor at work here, but for the life of me, I can't imagine what it might be — unless it's a sign of incipient Creeping Agoraphobia, suggesting that in the future, driving a mile and a half to the supermarket will become an onerous task ridden with fear. I'm not convinced that this is truly the case; but I've had scary moments even there.

And if that's the prognosis, if that's what I have to look forward to, then "getting out more" won't even be an option.

The Vent

16 September 2002

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 Copyright © 2002 by Charles G. Hill