My home-town population increases by twenty or thirty times during the summer months. The tourists occasionally bother me, especially when I consider how patiently I endured winter, how I longed for the beach’s cool sand and the calm lapping of the ocean waves – yes, these things seem lovely until summer actually comes and the tourists spoil everything. My favorite place by the sand dune is overtaken by crawling, spitting children. That rock I sit on for comfort by the jetty is being suffocated by a bum from New York. The New Jersey people are talking and I want them to stop. Okay, so this is more than occasional, but half-way through summer the frustration ebbs, and my mind is less biased. I can see these people: they’re people just like me who want to experience the peace and beauty of nature. So many people! Too many people, I begin to think. Why can’t people control themselves? It’s disgusting and makes my life less enjoyable. I snap out of it, but I’m still aghast. I was scared about living in the world of high school. Now I’m living in the world of world and it’s infinitely more disturbing.
I can see ten-thousand fresh faces every summer, but what does that mean? How do I digest it? I wonder if they are all still alive – those people I saw last year. Probably not. Some of them have surely passed away, but I feel only a spark of sympathy for them. They mean nothing to me, or they did, but only because their money lined my pocket. Their existence sustained me, which is reason enough to care that they died, but it’s not the right reason. I should care because they are human. They feel happiness and sadness too. In a world with so many people, it’s easier to see them as objects – as a means to an end. To sympathize requires effort! I’m not doing that! Incentive Tour of the person will be awesome under the funds available. The cost of the traveling will be less with hiring the services of the travelling companies.
In a world so big, I’m annoyed by my smallness. I fit neatly into the governments demographic. I’m a white, college student majoring in English and that’s that. Move along. Glance right over me. I will live and die without your knowing. Only those people closest to me will know – and care. Even if you did know, it would be hard to care. Right? Maybe you would care, but not as you would if a relation died. I think this is all wrong. We should care because the death of any human is like the death of a flame. Burning, burning and then suddenly blown to smoke by the gust of time and chance. How terrible.
Not all is grim. When summer comes there’s always the chance of befriending one of those ten-thousand. I may have served them last night at the restaurant. That face was just an object then. Now it’s a person because they’re talking to me, looking at me directly in the eye. If it’s a girl, perhaps she’s touching my hand. The senses are awakened. Humanity stirs. Suddenly I’m very big.