Everyone you ever knew will die

Sad, isn’t it? But meanwhile, everyone you ever knew will live a life that means just as much to them as yours does to you. They will be loved and hated and — if they’re lucky — called on their birthdays by people you can’t even imagine.

The mass email I sent out announcing the Montana move has put me back in touch with some people from my past. (Actually, one of them coincidentally found me through Google, inspired to do some cyber-stalking by the upcoming 15th reunion of our high school class.) I was struck by the synchronicity, then, when I read this:

I have a small obsession with how we live as if all the people we’ve ever known, or have known of, don’t exist. Think about it: Out there somewhere is Tommy Byers, with whom you dug a hole in his dirt-floored garage in Fourth grade. You planned to dig all the way to China but gave up when the hole was just waist-deep, which apparently was enough to bend the connecting rods on his dad’s Chevy when he drove unsuspectingly into it. Why don’t you know of Tommy’s days and ways since then?

What about your old teachers? Those cousins you saw only once a year? Your old lovers and roommates and coworkers? They’re all here on the same little planet, each living an entire life and you living yours as if the other didn’t exist.