Sociologists tell us the human animal needs its space.
Even if we have no cat, we need the room to swing one.
We may be communal by nature, but we've got to have our breathing room. We can take our fellow humans in close quarters, but only so close.
So how close is too close? What is 'cheek by jowl' and what is just cheeky? That seems to vary from culture to culture and from place to place. What's comfy in Kowloon, is in your face in Fargo.
California is one of those places where we seem to bunch up with our fellow humans. We tend to tolerate each other's jowls here. There's only so much sunshine and everyone wants to be in it.
You see this bunching up in almost everything Californians do.
We live in boxes, little boxes, and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same:
We work in cubes, little cubes, and THEY all look the same:
We drive from those boxes to those cubes, lined up like lemmings in lots of loathsome lanes:
Even when we go to the beach, we do it all bunched up:
And we park our boats that way, too:
So, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, while walking across my favorite bridge over the American River last weekend, to look down into those serene waters and see this:
which was part of this:
which was only a small part of all of this:
Just a bunch of my fellow Californians getting away from it all for a nice, quiet weekend on the water.
Away from those crowded cul-de-sacs. Away from those crowded cubicles. Away from those crowded freeways.
But doing it in the way they've grown accustomed to.
All bunched up.