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Places Farther Away

Places farther away seem farther in the past, even if they are not. My son Blake and I were talking about some times we had while living in Texas. “It was not that long ago, but it feels like it was,” I said to him. He agreed. As we drove down a California highway together, he went back to preparing for a class later in the day and I lost myself in the subject. Distance is covered in time. A place not more than twenty-four hours on the road seemed, though, so much farther in the past than twenty-four hours. “It must be the disconnection,” I wanted to say aloud. But Blake was deep into his study. I didn’t want to interrupt. So I just tried to remember the past. I could picture our home in Texas. I could walk into the front door and look up at the high ceiling and see Blake or his brother looking down and waving to me over the short wall that divided the game room from the hallway below. I could feel my body cooling off after coming in from the hot Texas outdoors. I could step into the kitchen and see my wife preparing lunch. I could look out the window in the dining room to the pool in the backyard. I could walk into any room and tour the whole house like it was yesterday. It just didn’t feel like yesterday. It felt like a lifetime ago. And if I never cover that distance again, it was a lifetime ago.

Chris Plante

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