Monday, October 17, 2011

Nowhere You Are

"Fuck!" he exclaimed from the backseat. "I can't get a signal because we're out here in the middle of nowhere."

"What are the odds," I said to her beside me, "that people always find themselves smack dab in the middle of nowhere? How come it's never, 'I'm on the outskirts of nowhere'? 'I'm passing through the suburbs of nowhere'? 'I'm about one-quarter of the way to Nowhere Central, where the horizon and the landmarks are just starting to lose their distinctiveness'?"

"Or 'on the edge of nowhere'?" she replied.

"Well, if you were on the edge of nowhere, you'd actually be somewhere," he chimed in.

"Good point," she responded.

"Maybe 'nowhere' isn't actually a place," I speculated. "Maybe it's more like an amorphous fog that follows you around, so that when it settles, you're perfectly in the middle of it."

"Or maybe, as much as an affront to common sense as it seems," I continued, "we really are in the middle of nowhere, right here in rural Virginia. This is it, the fabled epicenter."

"The literal epicenter. Equidistant." she said, nodding along.

"Yes, literally. It extends way out into the Atlantic ocean on one side, and out into... I dunno, the Midwest on the other. But we happen to be perfectly centered at this moment, right here."

We paused a moment to reflect on the momentous significance of all this, on our humbling privilege.

"We are such nerds."

"Yeah, I know."