My afternoon constitutional led me past a local church. It was having a bazaar in the basement, church members were selling their handcrafted items to raise funds for a sponsored family. I went in - I don't know why, I'm not much on that kind of thing, but I went in nevertheless and found myself among tables of gift items, jewelry, and other nice, but unremarkable goods.. There was a selection of fine ceramics, I just didn't need another vase or jar. The kitchen was operating, the scent of meatballs in gravy filled the stifling air. I couldn't put my finger on it. Why did I feel so alienated to the otherwise "normal" scene?
Later, I figured it out. It was as if I had been in someone else's home. People I didn't know, and didn't have anything in common with. They all knew each other, of course, probably too well, faces weary of years of bazaars and bake sales, baptisms and confirmations, marriages and deaths. It was a closed world, and I was the stranger in a strange land.