Walmart, Abington, MD

Watching game 7 of the 2016 nba finals will be one i will never forget. drinking negra modelos and eating a prepared chicken with bagged salad, two complete strangers, a half­stranger and i watched cleveland rob golden state on the tour bus from a laptop hooked up to a sound system that had not yet been updated with bluetooth. i was impressed at the ease in which will was able to reactivate his “90’s tech knowledge”, as he called it, and it made me realize how spoiled we are now with cordless, one­button audio connections.

the front of the bus tv monitor did not have the proper outlet for us to transfer the screen from will’s laptop to the bigger one, but the small screen became almost unnoticeable after watching the first quarter of the game. it made me feel homesick for a few moments­ i would probably be watching this game with my dad and brother, or perhaps a friend in my neighborhood bar back at home, but instead i was trying to weave in and out of conversations with strangers and half­strangers. i just wanted to be in the presence of my dad and brother’s statistical knowledge, shouting out useless sports facts, having a familiar, comfortable ebb and flow; but, on the bus, in the parking lot of walmart, i was struggling to find my place in their conversation, and fearful of how they would perceive me and what i had to say.

this in turn (and like the goofy, former teacher that i am), propelled me to connect this experience with the purpose of this project. what exactly causes us to put up walls and boundaries between ourselves and others? is it fear of the unknown? is it fear of not being comfortable, or safely received?