Agoraphobia- fear of the marketplace. It can happen while you walk down the street, are deciding which park bench to sit on, or speaking up.
For whatever reason, we love agoraphobes. For example, who do you think is a better artist- one deft in small talk, or who cut off his left ear?
There’s a myth of the hyper-agoraphobic hermit sealed in his den of isolation creating byzantine works of genius who, tragically, cannot communicate his thoughts to Fellow Man. Then, one day, a neighbor calls the city on account of a bad smell and they break into his apartment to find his bloated body beneath his much larger body of work, which is subsequently harvested by academics and refined into multi-volume compendiums, launching his post-humous self into stardom. His work is forced upon highschoolers whose teachers tell them how sad it was how he wasn’t understood in his own time.
Enough. The truth: the one who understands himself doesn’t fret about being misunderstood.
For a long time, I’ve celebrated my own agoraphobia and alienation. To me, it set me apart, made me unique. And so, publicly, I announce my attempt to be an agoraphile (lover of the public). Which is difficult, because you’re all un-fucking-bearable.