Being Small 2


I was born small. I still am. Deep down. Superficially. Systemically. Existentially. Emotionally. Personally small. I know this more ethereally than anything specifically. I suppose it’s because my memory is so bad that I feel ethereal. Or is my memory bad because I am ethereal. Perhaps the ethereal has no need for the specific. No interest in the detail. I am small after all. Perhaps there is no room for all those details.

I rather vague way to begin a story. If indeed this is a story at all.


Life looks a bit different from the backseat. The scenery passes differently. You don’t see it head on. You see if from the edge, from the periphery. You see behind the façade it often presents us. When you’re small you often (always?) end up in the backseat. And if you are of a certain age, you sat in the middle with big hump for the drive train, your little knees pushed into your stomach.

The world is a different place form the backseat. You get to be more of an observer. Not just an observer of the scenery, but of those in front of you, of those in the scenery. You have an awareness of behavior you can’t get if you are in the front. In the front you only see your relationship to the scenery and not your relationship to those behind, who are at best periphery or distant noise. I suppose in a perfect world we would take turns in the front and back.  Though I don’t usually want to sit in the front, even if offered the choice. It’s not that I’ve accepted my lot in life, but I’d rather be an observer.

Sitting in the front always seemed like a ranking. Not sure what kind of a ranking, but I don’t want to be ranked, and certainly don’t want to appear to be ranked higher than another. I don’t like the competition. I’ve always struggled with competition. Even when I have been ranked well or “won”. I felt worse for those ranked lower than I felt good for winning. Maybe that’s empathy at work. When your small you have lots of chances for empathy if you choose to allow it. Though I suppose after a while it’s tempting to cut off empathy and be jaded and bitter. I can empathize with that too.

See when you’re small you are often ranked lower by default, which isn’t much fun. So you’d rather not be ranked at all. And that disdain for ranking has always seemed to make me freer. I like being small enough to slip out of the societal chains.

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