Friday, February 20, 2009

Local Man Enjoys Front Row Seat

I make my way into the theater, look around for a good seat, notice the front row is empty, in particular the very center seat, and make my way down to claim it. Here is where I shall sit, I think, and I won't give it up even to go to the bathroom. There will be no one in front of me. And if someone's behind me, they can lump it. If I slump down and get my neck situated just so, I will not only have an unobstructed view of the screen but my neck won't feel strained afterward.

I've been thinking about my place in this society. I'm obscure, I don't mind saying it. But there's one thing I know I have and no one can deny it, a front row seat to history. It's just like the theater. I showed up early, I immediately looked that direction, I went directly to it, I sat there, and I refuse to get up, even to go to the bathroom. That's the same thing with history. I'm here, I'm staying, and I look on from a unique vantage point, the front row.

You may wonder, what is this front row to history? I'm there right now. Reading about history on the internet, that's one way of having a vantage point. But I'm looking at history also in the making. Someone said that the newspapers are the first draft of history. I read the various newspaper websites to see what they are reporting. They're right there when President Obama says something or signs legislation. I see that. They're right there in the midst of war and turmoil. I read about it and recoil. They bring it to me if someone has eight kids and is back in bed trying for eight more before the evening's over. I look on, I take note, I observe, I file it away in my mental file cabinet.

That I'm able to see it is good. And it's interesting that it all comes right straight to me as it does. I don't stand in line. I don't panhandle. I'm not begging bread. I'm just here receiving it all. I appreciate the opportunity. I'm not oblivious to the truth that a lot of people would kill to be in my place. To have the front row to history that I have.

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