Until we moved to the big town twenty miles over (pop. 25,000), we lived in the one-stoplight oklahoma town where I spent most of my childhood (pop. 3,500).
My father's law office was in a large brick building with a rickety red-carpeted elevator just a block from the town square. We lived in a ranch style home painted a soft yellow that sat on 40 acres off a dusty dirt road.
From Hollywood, it is 2,000 miles and one left turn.
I think about this map dot - if it even makes it on the map - every day. The small town gossip, the annual fish festival, the way everyone in town knew my last name and where my momma worked and which van was ours.
I think about the hundreds of thousands of towns across the country just like it, full of good people and suspect people and crying babies and mangy dogs. I think about how I wish I were there and some of them probably wish they were here.
I think about what it was like to grow up without a drive-thru in my zip code, or an airport within 200 miles. But how my sister could get gas at the local Country Store and forget to pay, and it was okay because they would just call the brick building that bore my daddy's name and tell him that the van drove off again.
I think about all that, and I get a lump in my throat. My daughter will never know a life like that. The town now has more than one stoplight and multiple drive-thrus, even though the population hasn't changed much. The pace of life is still slower there than in Hollywood, but only by their drawls. They all have tivo and wifi in their living rooms, just like I do.
So in a way, all our technology shrinks the world. But I've never felt so far away.