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  • I pulled the car through the evenly squared streets of Times Square, stop and going between the people who darted across the street arm around their girl friends, or arm by their side and other hand grasping their very smart phone which had told them how to get where they were now. Now that they were there they grasped the phone for guidance in how to get to where they would be next and who they would be with next.

    As I drove through it felt familiar but not comfortable. From my car the people seemed to fly past me- literally out of step with the pace of my feet on the pedal as I slid by them in my car. Without realizing it I had put songs to their rhythm. It was a loud jazz quintet from Miles Davis. The song was familiar- my father had played it numerous times in the house in the early evenings as we prepared for a meal. But it was also not comfortable- alone cooking I have always chosen another song to accompany me in my cooking.

    When did the English language develop these two words (comfort and familiar) for intertwined phenomena? It would seem incomprehensible that what is familiar would not be comfortable. In some ways the existence of the two separate words helps me to let me think that this incomprehensible occurrence occurs.
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