The Urban Sherpa - a blog by Christopher DeWan

(knows a few things about a few things...)

Read Work and Other Essays, a collection of nonfiction by Christopher DeWan.

Less Than rating=3


It's because of the shrinking.

It was hard to notice at first. Remember, growing was like that: "How big you've grown!," the cousins whose names you never learned would always say. And you would think, defiant: "No I haven't."

But you had. You'd grown imperceptibly, day by day. To prove it, your parents would mark little indisputable lines on your door jamb in pencil ("July 21, 1980: 47 inches"), till your incredulity was replaced with a hard-to-explain, slightly misplaced pride whenever you sized up your hash marks: "How big I've grown!," you would think.

Shrinking is like that. It sneaks up on you, without any giveaway signs. The hat still fits; the pants are tighter than ever—but you know that you are smaller than you were. You know it as surely as you knew looking at those pencil marks as a child. You have shrunken. You are less than. You realize, too late, that hopes and dreams have mass; that their mass centered you like ballast; they plumped you up; and now they're gone.

Shriveling. Wilting. Shrinking into less and less.

If you know, then it's only a matter of time before everyone— friends, co-workers, the nameless cousins, the strangers on the street—realize it too. It almost doesn't matter, though, because at the rate you're getting smaller, by the time they realize, you'll have disappeared altogether.