Friday, September 16, 2016

being nobody

Bit by bit and week by week, the local newspaper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, is phasing out one of my weekly favorites -- a column entitled ID which, at least in the past, would corral a single person and ask what they liked, disliked, bought, enjoyed ... or other odds and ends of questions. The answers didn't always ring true, but there was usually some nugget of personality that slipped through whatever intended or unintended facade was thrown up. Not as good, perhaps, as "I collect squids" but some similar little something-or-other. It was fun to read. Evocative somehow. Or at least when someone with a business or do-good agenda was kept at bay. It was the nobody-in-particular quality that grabbed my attention. But now it's going, going, gone.

And as I imagined what it might be like to walk down Main Street and try to find a "nobody" to ask questions to, it occurred to me how impossible the task was. Except for the vain, no one walking alone when going to buy a bottle of milk ever thinks of him- or herself as "somebody." I'm just plain old me and you're just plain old you ....

Right up to the moment when someone asks for a preference or description of the life being led. Then, all of a sudden, everyone transforms from "nobody" into "somebody."

Trying to be a nobody is impossibly stupid: For those who already nobody, why try? And for those who already aren't ... well ... why try?


  1. I'm nobody important, but somebody with an opinion. lol

  2. I am a nobody more than a nobody, when I have an opinion the National Organ Transplant Unit reminds me subtly that I have pledged all my organs for their laboratories. I have no Buddha potential, but technically or scientifically I have cadaver potential instead. My mother, the nobody of all nobodies, order that 'thy shall not (also) touch beef'.