One degree of separation by mattsteinglass
November 24, 2009, 4:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

How many people do we know, personally and directly, at different times in our lives? I’ve always assumed the circle tends to grow as we get older and move into less restricted and ordered milieus, but I just got my 20th college class reunion list, and now I’m not so sure. For my residential house, there were 68 names of people who hadn’t responded yet, not including myself, and for 45 of them, a face and character leapt instantly to mind, in some cases for people I hadn’t seen or thought about in decades. I’m not sure I have 45 people in my current milieu who will be so firmly engraved in memory 20 years down the line. Maybe that restricted, ordered milieu actually facilitates more acquaintance. But I suppose it’s more of a matter of the vividness of early-life impressions; I probably know my closest 45 current non-familial acquaintances today just as well as I knew those 45 people in college. It’s just that I don’t care about any of them as much.

Especially that girl in the dining hall with the orange wide-brimmed hat and the single curl of hair over her forehead. Man, talk about having a face engraved in memory. I bet I could sketch it, and I can barely draw.


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The day will come when I won’t know my own sister, but I’ll remember all 8 position players from the 1977 White Sox as clear as if they were in the room.

Comment by citifieddoug

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