Tag Archives: Alaska

The Darien Gaps

We go to college to learn of course, to read, to write, to think, to interact, and to learn how to learn. But we also go to grow up and see things for the first time and be exposed, usually, to an entirely new set of surroundings and circumstances. For me anyway, one of these new awarenesses was the fact that there were 18 year-olds in the world who had, or at least had access to, lots and lots of stuff. Lots of things. And many of those 18 year-olds were from in and around Darien, CT. I’ll call this Darien Gap #1.

Darien Gap #2 involves the movie “Wall Street” and the link between Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) and Darien Taylor (Daryl Hannah). Bud comes from an honest family with dirt under its fingernails, catches a break from a Wall Street titan, gets set up with up-and-coming artist Darien, only to see his personal and professional ambitions melt, forcefully, after flying too close to the sun. Bud and Darien’s personal needs never align with their economic pursuits and ¬†they are never able to achieve emotional unity. Their relationship reminds me of the words of The Gap Band, “You were the first explosion, turned out to be corrosion, you were the first for me, but you turned me out, baby”.


Speaking of unity, the Pan American Highway, stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, has a 60 mile stretch of rainforest between Panama and Colombia where the road is interrupted. This stretch is called the Darien Gap and I’ll call it #3 although if this were the Dating Game this would be the real Darien Gap. I bring up Darien Gap #3 because during a recent World Cup soccer game, my 8 year-old son Emmett asked if a person could walk to Natal, Brazil. I answered that it sounded like a whiz-bang idea but for the problematic (real) Darien Gap which made such a hike impossible. He was not impressed.

photo1Thankfully, we weren’t too put out by this geographic impassibility since not only did we not have to walk 8,500 miles to monitor the World Cup goings-on, all we had to do was simply walk to our back porch and review our own, handmade and hand drawn World Cup scoreboard/bracket thingy. It was a great month of soccer, (although due to near constant entertaining it caused slight, but manageable (I think), gaps in my otherwise harmonious marriage), and now we have a written memory of the event which we ail keep forever. Can’t wait for 2018.