There are events that make me pause and try to comprehend how so many people live on this planet, and how their lives progress completely in parallel. Last week, for example, I wrote my ns-2 script files, met The Old Timer, and ate a porkchop sandwich.
And while that was happening, my friend Amy considered what music she would play during our Doris-Day-A-Thon that we'll be airing next month. She fretted over what factoids she would mention, and her talking-to-music ratio. She e-mailed me with questions, and I assured her that her vision would be great.
And while that was happening, my father bought a plane ticket to come visit me next month. He got in his truck, drove to the travel agency, and cashed in his free ticket for Alaskan Airlines. He probably teased the ticket agent about something funny. He does that. On his way back, maybe he stopped at Subway for one of his favorite chicken sandwiches.
And while that was happening, a man in London got on the Number 26 bus on his way to Hackney Wick. He sat next to the grey and black duffel bag and attempted to detonate a bomb. His bomb, perhaps by accident or in a moment of doubt, exploded only enough to blow out the windows on the top deck of the bus.
And while that was happening, some of the 295 million Americans watched Fox News, shopped at Wal-Mart, listened to NPR, waited in hospital emergency rooms while their wives had emergency c-sections, bailed their kids out of jail, attended funerals, decided between buying medicine or food, searched for lost dogs, got caught in the rain, tried to stay cool in the summer heat, and slept under city bridges.
And while that was happening, some of the 6.5 billion people in the world woke up, witnessed birth, ate breakfast, witnessed death, coped with their heartaches, mourned the death of a soldier, missed their beloveds, listened to music, authored their blog entries, prayed to their gods, hoped for a better world, got shot by Iraqi soldiers, got shot by American soldiers, and celebrated recent engagements.
And while that was happening, my friend Andy from Vancouver, Washington was trying to save some kids in Mexico from drowning, and ended up drowning himself.
Everyone talks about how small the world is. I disagree. I think it is rather big.