Nothing happened to me when I did this recently, but without a doubt some neighbors were peering behind curtains to observe. I half expected a patrol car to come by and question me. I set about by preparing what I would say when C-Town's finest would roll up, a la Ray Bradbury's story style, with spotlight blinding, and surely a mechanical voice would flatly ask:
"Sir, what are you doing?"
"Following my bliss???!?"
We Americans are a funny lot. We are suspicious of odd behavior. Especially artistic behavior. I cannot count how many times I have been called crazy, weird, and a host of other names for what I consider to be absolutely normal behavior. Even simple, innocent things.
Go somewhere in public and read a book. (What a concept, yes?) Anywhere, of course, except those places which are safely designated for reading. You are alone in that activity and suspicious. Americans don't read very many books according to a new study. Only a small percentage even read ONE book a year. ONE friggin' book!!!!
I am not the bibliophiles my fellow bloggers are, but by God, I like to get absorbed in the page as much as I can.
When I know that boredom is coming, like getting the oil changed, I grab a book. I never ever never notice anyone else doing this perfectly normal activity but me. People will cram into the small Pennz Oil "waiting room" (or the room where you wait while they soften you up to hose you with highway robbery priced air filters, oil, etc.) and watch the TV like they've never seen one before. No matter what's on, they act absorbed or look around as if entertainment will be free while Valvoline is being added to the family car. Some, a small few, will read the sports section of the paper. None carry a lonesome book in to pass the time.
The doctor's office is great for catching up on badly missed reading time. Do I get glances? Oh yeah. It absolutely mystifies me that people will sit cattle car style in Dr. Milroy's office to wait for two to three hours without something to read! How? No answer.
Before you break out your barbs and say it, let me assure you I do not think myself special, an intellectual or in any way different from anybody. (I was once accused of being an intellectual, but my friend, after seeing me hammered a few times, has never brought forth this accusation again. Amen.)
So...grab a camera (and a friend) and let them watch from behind the curtains.
The McMoon will be there.