Saturday, July 14, 2007

-- where the masses come to graze

Getting ready to fly. Back at the airport when I was standing in line in the huge crowd, it really seemed like I was in a herd of cattle. This is where America comes to graze, at airports and rest stations, where large numbers of us gather and wait.

I had the visual equivalent of being in the mall and suddenly being aware of the whoosh of noise all around yet you can't hear what anyone's saying. Voices fuse into one giant white noise of conversation. Standing there, I felt like everyone blended into one, husbands and wives standing passionlessly away from eachother, banal expressions on their faces. Women who'd given up on themselves distant from Archie Bunker husbands, both nursing impending deliveries, drinking to occupy themselves in a meaningless life where losing intimate connections with loved ones seems to have been the only successfully-realized side effect of the goal of living.

Because of this, I can kindof understand the Korean girl I met once who said her first impression upon coming to the U.S. was that everyone looked alike. How is that possible, I thought. We have different hair colors, styles, texture! Different sizes and shapes! But standing here, now I realize we can be unexpectedly predictable in all our phenotypic diversity.

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