This is (the beginning of) a story about Spoon. Spoon was born in a town far away, far from where most of us have been. The town was large by town standards — probably numbering a couple of million inhabitants living in vast sprawling interconnected boroughs. It was really a city, but it felt town-like to those who lived in the barely indistinguishable neighborhoods. It wasn’t a planned city, but grew gradually out of necessity.
Almost no one lived in a separate house, rather homes were living spaces in shared buildings that were no more than three stories high. No one was wealthy.
Spoon’s family, like most, had a meager income. And like most, they were content. They were not overly ambitious, nor were they lazy. They did what they had to do to get by. With no aspirations for more than they needed, they spent their spare time relaxing in or around their simple homes.
When Spoon was born, her parents knew she was different. Even at an early age, she questioned almost everything, wanting to know ‘why.’ Other children took things for granted and as they were. Spoon wanted to know why things couldn’t be different.
Spoon grew to be a slender and attractive girl and spent her time doing things the other kids did, going to school and playing, but she also spent much of her free time wondering what she could do to help make things better for the people in her town. She wasn’t interested in growing up and living life just getting by. She wanted more and was determined to see if she could change things. To her, getting by, although having certain virtues, meant not only boredom, but also a waste of intellectual resources.
She felt she was destined to make a mark, not to fulfill her ego, or become famous, or elevate her stature, but because she wanted to elevate everyone else. She was independent and strong willed, so it was no surprise that when she graduated school, she informed her parents she was leaving home for an extended trip. She wanted to explore the world, she told them. Almost no one from her town ever left and her parents, sensing that this decision was coming, knew they couldn’t stop her.
So at 17 years old, with the blessing of her family, friends and neighbors, Spoon left the safety of her hometown and headed for parts unknown.