Out of Place


Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

As part of my job over the course of my career, I was asked to attend small political functions or parties. I do lean toward introversion. That is one of the reasons I am seated here, alone, at this set of keys.

I would enter usually someone’s home. The host would be someone I had never met. He or she generally shared nothing more with me than a few 100 cubic feet of air. I was invariably at a loss for words, while, feeling uncomfortable and completely out of place.

Understand the closest I come to completely associating with a particular secular “tribe” would be as a hometown, baseball fan. One of my buddies who roots (not to be confused with your favorite plant) for another ball club, calls me something I think is a compliment, but, may be derogatory, homer. Until recently I thought that was a fair ball…

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What Was I Thinking?

November 24, 1983. Our daughter was three, and our son would arrive 7.5 years later. I was working 65 miles south of our home in Woodland Hills, California.

I had never experienced that long a commute 24 hours before Thanksgiving dinner. SoCal is well known for the worst traffic in the United States. That is/was especially true on this, the most exasperating traffic day of the year a la Trains, Planes and Automobiles.

Arguably, that film is the funniest American movie ever made. Inarguably, that date encompassed the most irksome traffic jam I would ever experience.

Although, there was that attempt at crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge at 5 P.M. on a Friday in New York. Verrazzano was an explorer during the European discovery of the Americas. I was exploring my sanity on that commute in ’83.

Once home, my spouse, Kristine, was able to pry me out of our small coupe. I still have a scar from the lug wrench.