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Seinfeld was interrupted tonight with tornado warnings to my north, so I jumped in my car and drove to the grocery store (but no ominous, spiraling squall lines were to be seen). However, while I was checking expiration dates on carrot bags, the power went out. In those dark, 5 seconds, I plotted my course out of the store (through produce watching out for the cheese display), decided how long I would stay in the dark (2-3 minutes) and wondered if I had any essential groceries to buy (nothing urgent).
After the lights flicked on, everybody smiled at each other for the next 10 minutes because we all shared the experience of worrying in the dark. Nobody mentioned it, but we were bonded and wondered what the others were thinking/doing in the dark.
Shared experiences like this one explain why my kindergarten girlfriend and I failed… our lives diverged completely at first grade and it’s been 20 years since we had a remotely similar experience.
Shared experiences underpin my urge to break from a new group of friends (and people my own age in general): there is nothing we all want to do together.
Shared experiences lurk beneath my urge to study mythology. I want to tap into the fundamental archetypes of every Earthly civilization.