Subscribe to Granta today

Proximity People

|

People who work at counters and make you wait while they answer the telephone, privileging the customer on the phone over the one right in front of their face, the one who made the trip, got out of bed, appeared in person. People who interrupt the phone call with the person who called first to use call-waiting to take the call from the person who called second. People who get to the counter and make the person waiting at the counter wait while they talk on their cell phone. People who glance at their e-mail when you’re in the room. People who use hand-held devices to glance at their e-mails while in your house. People who borrow your computer or hand-held device in order to glance at their e-mails. People who answer e-mails from people they do not know with great alacrity and full capitalization and punctuation while replying slowly and with few if any capitals or punctuation marks to the e-mails of their devoted friends. People who unfriend their friends while friending their unfriends. People who do not acknowledge the person. Persons who are not personal.

People who visit parties and ignore their friends, do not dance with the one that brung you. People who have more time, more munificence, more courtesy, for strangers than for their friends. Children who love their uncles and aunts more than their father and mother, their cousins more than their siblings. People who have a picture of Jesus Christ or John F. Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln on their wall, as if Jesus Christ or John F. Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln was their relative. People who use the first names of celebrities. People who shorten the names of or create nicknames for those they don’t know or barely know, in order to seem more familiar, especially in cases where people who are actually familiar with those named would never shorten their name or use a nickname. Rotisserie-baseball fans who never go to a baseball game or follow a ‘real’ team. Married people who develop crushes on waitresses or bank tellers.

Those who speak to the invisible, the remote, those not present, while disfavouring the visible, the proximate, the present. Those concerning themselves with ghosts. Clergy of all types. People who wear pictures in lockets of grandparents they never knew, even as they disdain or neglect living uncles or aunts. People who construct family trees or visit genealogical web sites but are brusque and rude to strangers on the subway. Those who adopt animals but not children. Eaters of fish but not pork.

People who concern themselves with the fate of slaves in distant capitals they have never visited and would never visit. People who read the International section before they read the Metro section, or never read the Metro section. People who read eagerly of discoveries of planets orbiting distant stars in unreachable galaxies. Anyone interested in SETI (the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence). People who watch the Oscar telecast but don’t go to movies. People who watch a telecast of celebrations in Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Lip-synchers. Karaokeists.

People who read stories about imaginary people while real people stand before them unsung and unappreciated. People who read stories and experience real emotions while finding it difficult to feel real emotions when presented with the difficulties of their living friends. Science-Fiction people. Historical re-enactors. Pen-pals. Those who fall in love remotely, projecting cherished values onto those distant from them, values that they never identify among those nearest to them. Constructors of time capsules. People who write in journals or diaries never intended to be read during their lifetimes. Anonymous authors. Anonymous donors. People who comment anonymously on the blogs of their friends. People who at parties glance over your shoulder while they speak with you, searching for a better option. Necrophiliacs.

Those studying foreign languages, especially dead languages. Students of Esperanto or Klingon. Those mourning the deaths of royalty. Those who love or hate anyone they’ve never met. Catholics drinking wine and eating wafer. Readers of secondary sources before primary sources. Archaeologists and anthropologists. Those cherishing extinct species. ’Pay It Forward’ people. Sexaholics. Doctors Without Borders. Mimes who follow people on the street.

People who use time machines to prevent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ or the Kennedy or Lincoln assassinations but would not use time machines to apologize to those they personally disregarded in fourth or fifth grade.

Lawyers for the unborn. Pro-lifers. Autograph hounds. Strangers who interfere in private arguments on the street. Fans. Ventriloquists. Ventriloquists on the radio. People who listen to podcasts while in the presence of others. Ham-radio operators. Stamp collectors, with their glue-tabs and albums, adorers of the tenuous papery whisper of what comes from afar, soaking envelopes to reclaim cancelled stamps, discarding the envelopes, ignoring the addresses, never noticing the names of the original recipients, the persons for whom the letter was intended, cherishing instead the postage.

Above all, writers.

Comments (47)

You need to create an account or log in to comment.

  1. escortsbaba23e

    Mon Aug 25 13:31:56 BST 2014

    Great Blog i found. Thanks for sharing with us.
    http://www.navimumbaiescorts.com/

    #
  2. arrizkhan

    Thu Aug 07 13:01:24 BST 2014

    I have great quality High PR do-follow manually blog comments service increase your rank within few days guarantee All low OBL links i will give you all links just in 5$ High Pr Blog comments service
    http://www.fiverr.com/jhonmarshal1170

    #
  3. ajohn1070aaa

    Mon Jan 05 05:35:52 GMT 2015

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material. <a href='https://www.fiverr.com/james_seo/make-55-high-pr-blog-comment-on-actual-pr6-to-pr3' target='_blank'>seo link building services</a>

    #
  4. ap9gb6c

    Mon Dec 16 10:15:48 GMT 2013

    Yachtbooker.com is the world's largest reservation system for yacht charter. Here you can find reviews and last minute discounts for more than 4000 yachts worldwide. Compare prices and book online!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/yachtbooker
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JFul-whpgU

    #
  5. Magic

    Fri Jun 06 03:48:52 BST 2014

    You have a small home for sale http://rumahdijual.freeshell.org/ , but you want to focus on designing a master bedroom you narrow a hefty, you must be looking for a narrow room setting in your http://www.fiverr.com/rumahdijual house for sale. The narrow room is indeed more things that should be considered in order to organize them. It is a narrow room buying home http://nanowrimo.org/participants/rumahku Rumahku that does not in fact become increasingly narrow, but appear more spacious. Therefore, you should consider the theme and décor as well as a variety of things that will be aplikasikasikan into your bedroom. You on the other hand http://pocketknowledge.tc.columbia.edu/home.php/browse/110017 could try the tips above. And keep in mind Yes, inspiration below can also use for the idea of setting up a narrow space home

    #
  6. zararaza1@hotmail.com

    Sat Apr 26 13:28:19 BST 2014

    There was something terribly acquainted in that encounter of catastrophe, verified during my trip to the remains where the double systems had once achieved for the sky. http://www.progressiveroofing.ca/

    #
  7. AsharSeo

    Mon Mar 02 08:00:08 GMT 2015

    Okay, and further more if you want update alerts from this site then you must subscribe for it, it will be a better for you Greg..

    crossing border with DWI
    http://www.foxweekly.com/2015/02/26/business/law-firm-makes-it-easier-to-travel-to-canada-dui.html

    #
  8. AsharSeo

    Sat Feb 14 05:52:37 GMT 2015

    my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article....

    3 credit scores

    http://www.pingobakeryseafoodhouse.biz/considering-no-hassle-free-credit-reports-from-all-3-bureaus-programs/

    #
  9. AsharSeo

    Mon Feb 23 10:25:41 GMT 2015

    MY Service Is Standing Right Next To You Shoulder To Shoulder, So You Can Achieve Your Goal More Easily.

    turbo force

    https://www.facebook.com/suplemento.turbo.force

    #
  10. PeterS

    Fri Aug 08 23:10:23 BST 2014

    Well, you can vertainly not ignore the amount of benefits social media has brought into our lives. Take for example the http://hack-a-twitter-account.blogspot.com website. It provides lots of useful features for twitter.

    #
  11. twitter

    Mon Jul 28 10:23:52 BST 2014

    <a href=" http://www.twitterfollowerstrend.com/why-you-should-buy-real-twitter-followers"> Why you should buy real twitter followers?</a>
    <a href=" http://www.activeinstafollowers.com/buy-instagram-photo-likes"> buy instageam photo likes </a>
    <a href=" http://www.followersandlikes4u.com/how-to-get-more-views-on-youtube-for-free-6-steps-with-pictures"> How to Get More Views on Your YouTube Videos</a>

    #
  12. Donald4s1

    Thu May 15 17:21:51 BST 2014

    I am preparing my assignment paper and gathering information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one place.
    <a href="http://freevpn.me/">free vpn</a>

    #
  13. pacha

    Mon Jul 28 11:24:25 BST 2014

    Forum dla nastolatków

    http://forumeking.eu

    #
  14. jhon123

    Tue Feb 24 12:27:04 GMT 2015

    People who at parties glance over your shoulder while they speak with you, searching for a better option. Necrophiliacs.
    http://www.volicuba.org/voli-di-ritorno-cuba-italia/
    volo milano cuba

    #
  15. twitter

    Mon Jul 28 10:28:23 BST 2014

    <a href=" http://www.twitterfollowerstrend.com/why-you-should-buy-real-twitter-followers"> Why you should buy real twitter followers?</a>
    <a href=" http://www.activeinstafollowers.com/buy-instagram-photo-likes"> buy instageam photo likes </a>
    <a href=" http://www.followersandlikes4u.com/how-to-get-more-views-on-youtube-for-free-6-steps-with-pictures"> How to Get More Views on Your YouTube Videos</a>

    #
  16. twitter

    Mon Jul 28 10:22:05 BST 2014

    <a href=" http://www.twitterfollowerstrend.com/why-you-should-buy-real-twitter-followers"> Why you should buy real twitter followers?</a>
    <a href=" http://www.activeinstafollowers.com/buy-instagram-photo-likes"> buy instageam photo likes </a>
    <a href=" http://www.followersandlikes4u.com/how-to-get-more-views-on-youtube-for-free-6-steps-with-pictures"> How to Get More Views on Your YouTube Videos</a>

    #
  17. zararaza1@hotmail.com

    Sat May 24 14:47:20 BST 2014

    The city has been crippled like this every day for the last four years, and all signs point to even worse conditions in the future, with Karachi’s population expanding faster than the city’s grid has the capacity to bear. http://www.theblanchlawfirm.com/

    #
  18. Janice4s1s

    Wed Jun 11 07:42:33 BST 2014

    I have been assigned to do a report for our school newspaper on this subject, and your post has been beneficial. Can you please add more reference to this topic, thanks.
    http://www.amazon.com/Omega-Fish-Oil-Capsules-Cardio-Protective/dp/B00G1PRRRC

    #
  19. vipdubaiescorts

    Fri Oct 10 15:28:18 BST 2014

    Vip And Elegant Escorts in Dubai, Dubai Call Girls are avaliable for Hotel Service

    http://www.dubai.superescorts.net
    Escorts Girls in Dubai

    #
  20. Vijayakumar

    Wed Feb 25 04:00:13 GMT 2015

    <a href="http://www.holimessages2015.com/">Happy Holi Messages 2015</a>

    <a href="http://www.holimessages2015.com/">Holi SMS 2015</a>

    <a href="http://www.holimessages2015.com/">Happy Holi Mp3 Songs</a>

    <a href="http://www.holimessages2015.com/">Holi Gift Ideas</a>

    #
  21. naveenmohsan@hotmail.com

    Thu Jun 19 10:31:47 BST 2014

    Anyone can be cruel or kind. I want to understand why men are labelled either lovers or fighters, romantic poets or airforce pilots. I want to know what these labels do to men and to women and to families. http://www.i-blason.com/htc-one-m8-cases.html

    #
  22. Smith

    Fri Dec 12 13:51:44 GMT 2014

    Armstrong flute reviews and guides plus tips plus Armstrong flutes

    http://armstrongflutereviews.com

    #
  23. escortsbaba23e

    Tue Jul 22 13:20:34 BST 2014

  24. lenajhon

    Tue Jul 01 06:51:46 BST 2014

  25. Happy Holi

    Tue Mar 03 06:52:28 GMT 2015

    Great stuff on <a href="http://happyholii.in" target="_blank">Happy Holi 2015</a>. Like the majority of success stories, <a href="http://happyholii.in/happy-holi-messages-in-english-2015-for-hike.html" target="_blank"><strong>Happy Holi Messages</strong></a> is about making the links and putting in the work with <a href="http://happyholii.in/free-happy-holi-images-2015-holi-images-free.html" target="_blank">Happy Holi Images</a>. So a lot of people ask how they are able to leave their jobs to do what they love as in <a href="http://happyholii.in/happy-holi-greetings-in-hindi-2015.html" target="_blank">Happy Holi Greetings</a>. The solution would be to do that which you love as much as you possibly can like <a href="http://happyholii.in/happy-holi-wishes-for-friends-2015.html" target="_blank">Happy Holi Wishes</a> , while keeping a routine occupation for income in <a href="http://happyholii.in/happy-holi-quotes-in-hindi-2015.html" target="_blank">Holi Quotes in Hindi</a>. At the end of the day <a href="http://happyholii.in/happy-holi-songs-free-download-2015.html" target="_blank">holi songs free download</a> pays off, although you will be exhausted these <a href="http://happyholii.in/happy-holi-hd-wallpapers-free-download-2015.html" target="_blank">happy holi hd wallpapers</a>

    #
  26. escortsbaba23e

    Thu Oct 16 11:18:56 BST 2014

    People who visit parties and ignore their friends, do not dance with the one that brung you. Great line thanks for shraingh with us mumbai escorts.
    visit: http://escortsbaba.com/mumbai-escorts.html
    our serach partners
    http://www.independentescortsinmumbai.com/
    http://mumbai-escorts.india.com/
    http://escortsstar.com/mumbai-escorts.html

    #
  27. reginiahandsaker

    Mon Jan 12 05:49:38 GMT 2015

    After looking into a few of the articles on your website, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know how you feel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0LPWvl7beY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u47gRMTxUo4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLi1KptIou0

    #
  28. AsharSeo

    Sun Feb 22 06:52:29 GMT 2015

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well..
    healing stones
    http://gemstone-magic.com/healing-crystals/what-are-healing-stones-and-how-do-they-work/

    #
  29. AsharSeo

    Fri Feb 20 11:56:21 GMT 2015

    Those that are offensive or abusive will be edited or removed and we reserve the right to suspend the accounts of users posting such material.
    φωτογραφος γαμου
    http://www.fotografos-gamou-athens.gr/

    #
  30. Najib

    Sat Feb 28 08:35:24 GMT 2015

    If you want to read manga online or watch anime and Naruto everyday feel free to visit http://www.narutoshippuden.org/

    #
  31. justsharetoyou

    Tue Jan 06 09:47:11 GMT 2015

    "experience real emotions while finding it difficult to feel real emotions when presented with the difficulties of their living friends" the words is amazing and real. Thanks your sharing story...
    http://dengan-bisnis-online.blogspot.com/
    http://dengan-bisnis-online.blogspot.com/2015/01/bisnis-online.html
    http://dengan-bisnis-online.blogspot.com/2015/01/bisnis-online-gratis-tanpa-modal.html

    #