Insignificant Others

I recently ran into, and briefly talked with, the mother of a girl whom I went out with for a non-insignificant period of time. The first thing she said was "Oh my, it's so good too see you. You know I still think about you from time to time." My immediate response to this was: "Of course you do. Why the hell wouldn't you? I'm only the coolest person to ever walk into your house and one tends to remember shit like that." Keeping this response to myself, we instead talked about how things were going for me, how things were going for her family, how things were going for the daughter, and then we continued on with our individual days.

I'm standing in line at Togo's and it's right when one of the employees smiles and says "hi" to me that I realize The Mother was lying. She never thinks about me. Well, at least it's more likely that she doesn't think about me than that she does. Why would she think about me? I was just one in, what was probably, a long line of guys her daughter has brought home. I probably wasn't the funniest or most charming or best looking. So when her thoughts drift, why the hell would they ever rest on me?

I, as a matter of contrast, actually do think about The Mother from time to time. I, however, have only met 4 Mothers of the girls I've seen. And of those 4 I've only talked to 3 of them for any extended period. She's in a small group in my mind. I, on the other hand, am not in hers. I brought nothing memorable to her life. I made no real impression. I'm just someone she recognizes and to whom she can be polite.

In the 8th grade, our teacher tried to show us how large the universe was with a map that depicted our solar system and then its size and place in our galaxy and then our galaxy's size and place in a cluster of galaxies and so onÖ When he finished, our teacher said "Makes you feel kind of insignificant, doesnít it?" The class nodded their collective head. Except for me. I sat there and thought "Um, okay, apparently you donít know who I am. Maybe your memo service is broken, so let me clue you in: I am not insignificant."

And then that moment in Togo's came and I suddenly realized what all my 8th grade classmates had realized 13 years earlier.

If you want an idea of how insignificant you are, donít imagine your place in the known universe (it's mostly "empty" anyway, not offering much that's vying for your amount of significance). Instead, think of how important you are to the people who you casually know. The honest answer is: not very. You don't even mean much to a large percentage of the people who have met you, so how much could you possibly mean in the overall picture?

----- I remain, as always, smirkingly and sullenly yours,
----- J.J. Oblivian.

P.S. How can one stay sullen once they remember that mothafuckin' HIGH TENSION is opening today?!?!
Originally Printed on 6/10/05
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J.J. Oblivian
Los Angeles, CA
Age: 27

I'm in a gang
called California.

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