Sanders, Scott Russell. “Beneath the Smooth Skin of America.”
Ressurgence magazine


At night on this journey you sleep in your favourite chain of motels, where you know the colour of the bedspread and the design of the wallpaper before opening the door, and where you watch on cable television your customary shows. Arriving by and by at your destination—perhaps in another suburb where your father’s family now lives, at their third or fourth address, or in a condominium where your parents have briefly settled—

you may only be able to prove that you have travelled at all by checking the milometer on the car. Chances are, the local mall will feature the same stores, the same products, the same movies and, so far as you can tell from a quick visit, the same customers as the mall back home. In what sense have you in fact left home?

Could you have simply driven to the far side of your own town and seen as much novelty? With every such journey a child takes—from the familiar to the familiar by way of the familiar—the smaller and more homogeneous the world seems.