Monday, June 25, 2007

Wide open spaces

See, recently I was telling a good friend about this experience I had on my mission. On our day off, a group of us went to the St. Louis "Children's Museum." This museum was actually more of a large, multilevel play area indoors. There are caves, tunnels, fake hollow trees, and more. (We went to play sardines.) Anyway, I was telling my friend about this narrow, cement tunnel that ran under the main floor. I suppose it was built with children in mind, but that didn't stop us from going through it. It was too narrow to turn around in, and just barely big enough to pass someone else in, and even then, only if you weren't afraid of human contact. A lot of it.

I guess it didn't bother me at the time all that much, but thinking back on it makes me a little nervous. I'm not claustrophobic or anything, but it was rather tight. One of the ends of it was easy to enter, being straight. The other end was a ninety degree vertical turn, which was narrower than the rest of the tunnel. I remember it being very difficult for me to enter or exit that end. I just don't like the idea of having a difficult or impossible exit, and no way to turn around, and wondering if I'll be able to crawl backwards to get back to where I started. But especially with all of the kids clogging it up, too.

So, having just recently related this memory to my friend, what did I do with my weekend? I went caving with the elders' quorum! In reality, the path we took through the cave was very open for all but one time. (That one spot, Fat Man's Squeeze, did make me a little nervous, though. I had to take off my helmet to fit through.) However, there was a pair in our group that did a lot more "exploring" of small offshoots. I joined them for a bit in their first adventure, as did one or two others. But then I realized there were a number of us in this rather small area, with more talking of joining us, so I got out of there rather than press on. I'm not sure if I was most nervous about the small tunnel I'd used to enter the area, the congestion in the area itself, or the possibility of one of the others clogging the tunnel (which would block my exit).

Don't get me wrong. I had a great time. And the one dose of exploration was really fun. I think I just have this thing about personal space. And while having rock in every direction of my personal space might make me a little fidgety, I think it was the people that began to make me really tense. (I remember not being all that comfortable in Time's Square at New Year's, too.) So, basically, I'm just anti-social. I think we should all be allowed one neurosis.