You don’t live in a bubble, dammit

Unlike the stereotypical geek/gamer, I require sunlight. Copious amounts of it, in fact. Also, fresh air. So it is with quite a bit of confusion that I approach the topic of people who seem to forget why the window was invented, which in turn prompts me to ask why that one apartment complex cared so much to put up a sign that says “YES! We have windows!” when people don’t use them.

Now, if someone built a house or apartment complex completely without windows, people would, in fact, freak. But do the majority of Americans ever utilize these things? Not from what I can tell. Right now, I’m probably the only crazy shit in my complex who keeps the miniblinds up, much less the windows open. Hell, I doubt most of the complex realizes you can adjust the miniblinds to an open position without raising them completely.

The walls in your dwelling are merely an illusion, separating you from everything else, just as society has fooled itself into thinking that there is a separtation from “civilization” and “nature.” Imagine doing whatever it is you do in a house without walls. You’re cooking, or sleeping, or watching tv while there are people smoking nearby, cars driving around, a bird in a tree, whatever’s going on “outside.” It’s easier if you can hear what’s out there. Do it when you’re in the car. Open the window, deny the bubble. Reach out and touch something (safely…I take no responsibility for you losing your arm to a passing eighteen-wheeler). Have a conversation with someone not in your vehicle.

This isn’t a video game. You don’t open your door and enter an interior cell completely removed from its exterior. There is no bubble, there is no separation of inside and outside. It’s all in your head.

One day I’ll post about the Crazy Neighbor Man. He was…different. In more ways than one. But he did teach me one thing. You can keep your front door open. It’s actually kinda cool. So before I got the kittens, my neighbor and I had what I called “The Open Door Society.” On nice days when we were both home, our doors would be standing wide open. It didn’t require any agreement, and either one of us closed our door, or opened it, for whatever reason or for no reason at all.  No one stole my shit. No one raped me while I typed at my computer. Obviously I wasn’t murdered. Fuck, it scared the shit out of most of my neighbors and presented a conundrum whenever someone came over. (“Do I knock?  Say ‘Hello?'”) My downstairs neighbors, who were friends of mine, loved it. Whenever they wanted me, they just walked out their front door and yelled in my general direction.

You are not Bubble Boy. You don’t need to be protected from fresh air and the crazy guy next door who gave you a slice of his birthday cake. It’s okay. Yea, it’s odd at first. But nothing bad is going to happen because someone saw your Barry Manilow collection. Fuck, they probably weren’t even looking. Except me, I love looking into people’s houses, but I’m a freak like that.

So that’s my challenge to you. Open a window, if you’ve never done so before. Open your door, if you’re already accomplished at the window. Deny the bubble. Take the red pill. Expose yourself. Say “hi” to your downstairs neighbor, even if he’s crazy and forgets that you’ve already been introduced to his sons three times.

Because there’s a world out there that does not revolve around you.

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3 Responses to “You don’t live in a bubble, dammit”

  1. Dargon Says:

    I’m a gamer/geek who didn’t appreciate the sunlight until I spent time working at a job, 40-60 hour weeks, in a room with no exterior windows. It was especially rough in the winter when I would get up with the sun and not leave work until after it had set. Nothing gives you perspective about how nice the sun is than being nearly completely isolated from it for awhile.

  2. Thankfully, architects are noticing more and more the use and abuse of sunlight– as energy and motivation. We are past the Archigram stage of plastic bubbles (if anything, they placed us more in literal plastic bubbles– as the epitome of individualism– everyone their own atmosphere, almost literally. See their work!)

    It is proven (proven I say!) that elementary school children learn and work more efficiently and happily in a classroom flooded with natural day lighting. Houstonians lived without air conditioning, believe it or not (most people seem incredible), by using the wonders of cross-ventilation and the shade of trees.

  3. Yep. We leave our doors open on nice days; our neighbors are friends, but even though we live in an area that was traditionally part of the Felony Flats region of Portland, we’ve not had problems.

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