It didn't happen when, as a kid, I was driven from Nebraska to Massachusetts to Virginia and then from Virginia to Massachusetts every summer until finally on a cross-country trip to take a ship from San Francisco to Hawaii.
The world, my world, was still small, stuffed into a pseudo-wood panel station wagon with four other kids and two parents. And it stayed small. Even though I went to four elementary schools. Even though I lived in nine different homes before I finished high school. Even though I lived surrounded by all of those transitory people. Even though.
It was on the Amtrak rides back "home" to Virginia from college in Jersey that the world exploded. I would look out the train window and pass house after house after house along the tracks. All of them served as home for people I would never know, people who had a sense of being as strong as my own sense of being.
Still, those numbers seemed somewhat tangible. By comparison of my spiraling thoughts today, those numbers seem downright attainable. I could meet all of them. I could.
I said to Pete the other night that Springsteen's 57 Channels seems downright quaint nowadays. We are in information overload. Soon enough, DIRECTV will have to go with four-digit channels rather than three. But it was only just the other day -- as God is my witness -- that I was getting up to turn the channel to one of only four VHF. [WTF is a VHF for FS?]
Forget ever knowing a fraction of the past. I can't even begin to know a fraction of the present. Too many sources of information. I'll never reach this. I'll never read the best books or hear the best songs or meet the most fascinating people. I won't even be able to plod through the worst of it. And I can kiss goodbye any chance of remaining on top of breaking news. [Twitter notwithstanding.]
There is no meaning to this post. If you'd like to find meaning in a blog post, might I suggest you check out one of the other 450 million English-language blogs out there?
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