Yesterday I had one of those moments where you notice something obvious and it feels like a mind-blowing revelation. I was hanging out in my friend's office, thinking about whether to leave and go to Barnes & Noble for a little bit, not really wanting to be there anymore, or be in my car, or go back to my house, which is 20 minutes away from there and is unpleasant to be at, when I realized all of a sudden that I literally always have to be in some particular physical place. Like, going from A to B? Gotta be in all the places that constitute the path between them. Going to sleep? My body literally stays there, just laying around, for like eight hours. Don't want to be where I am right now? Got to pick a whole nother place to go and be, instead.
I've been thinking about the sensation off and on all day. It reminds me of my depression, years ago, when I was unmedicated and in a more hostile environment. There were times where the feeling that I was feeling was "I don't want to be here," but there was no possible solution to it -- like, I couldn't imagine that there was any place in existence that I would want to just go and be.
Topics surrounding this theme have bothered me for a long time. Like, my home town doesn't have any places in it that are public property. There are some parks, sure, but they all close at sundown, and they're full of nature, and exposed to the elements. Every other public-ish space is owned by a company, and you're only allowed in it under the condition that you at least feign an active interest in giving the place money.
And I think about it when I'm reading a lot, too. I'm pretty sure the thing in a story that can make me feel the most awful without causing me to put down the book is when it opens with establishing that a disenfranchised character has some kind of safe, loving, protected home, and then at the end of chapter one it's destroyed, and they spend the rest of the book both homeless and mourning the loss of their home.
I don't have any kind of point I'm building to, here, and I'm almost out of time before I have to clock in at work. So, here are some other topics I'm just going to throw out in case I get the chance to pick up this thread again later:
- How do spaces online differ from physical spaces? How can I discuss this difference without collapsing into digital dualism?
- What do I actually want in a public space, apart from "They aren't constantly trying to get you to spend money?"
- Vague prompt: the relationship between this concept of 'space' and the concept of 'property.' Maybe look into Georgism.