I want to go now.
I don’t know where.
If you had money, not needing to work and yet enjoying a gourmet life–
That would be nice.
Then you’d wake up, stretch, and take a long walk or perhaps grab a plane and float over to Paris, where you could wake up, stretch, and stroll around town practicing your French, whiling in cafes, bars, restaurants, parks.
Unless it was winter in New York–then it’d be more practical to float to Buenos Aires, or perhaps Sydney, or maybe just take a road trip down through the Old South, spending a week or two in New Orleans before making your way to Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Prescott, Phoenix, Tuscon, LA, San Diego, Mexico City–gradually building up your tan as you progressed.
But I’m lonely, so who will be my wife?
You can travel with me and have sex with me and hang out with me.
But what will we talk about? And how will we keep the sex both loving and exciting?
Clearly we’ll need a lot of women’s magazines, and a few men’s magazines, and maybe a couple on pop psychology.
And yet that comment is even painful as a joke; even just trying to be cool and toss of an ironic grin makes me feel the cockroaches eating me from the inside out, their little brown grasshopper heads whirring maniacally from side to side.
Who will be my wife and keep me company while I skate through on my daydreamed riches?
Who can I find that will complete me as a human being?
Not in a tawdry, run-in-my-yellow-stockings kind of way; but wholesome:
I want a love that isn’t cheating, that is actually both fulfilling and decent– to feel good and not feel terrible about it.
Or do I just grab a couple pairs of old jeans, white Ts, hiking sneakers, cowboy boots, snap-button western shirts, a sweater and a jacket and hop into some reliable, fuel-efficient sedan? It is the information age now, so even if there’s no one to talk to, there’s still always a lot to focus on.
Who remembers the RV Age?
I watched it up close when I was a child.
Grandpa retires at 62, buys a small RV and him and grandma tour the US, visiting kids and grandkids on the way. A retirement that lasts forever. Unless you get hit by a stray stroke or something.
It doesn’t matter.
Which raises another interesting question. Pardon me if you don’t think it is interesting. I’d write “which raises another interesting question, at least from my point of view” to avoid controversy. I hate controversy and I’d be willing to accept even more awkward formulations in order to keep people from snarling towards me, swatting their big soft paws at my little unprotected head. But I honestly don’t think anyone cares what I say or do, so I just stuck to the shorter formulation. And yet I then explained myself in a long convoluted and not completely spleenless passage where I managed to communicate all that I claimed to not bother communicating and then some.
Never mind–it doesn’t matter.
Which raises another interesting question:
When do you hang it up?
At some point you realize that your dream isn’t tenable. Maybe it isn’t what you want so much as what you wish you both had and wanted to have. Maybe you just realize you’re not going to attain it, or that you’d rather just skip it and attain something else. At some point the best thing to do is to give up, to quit. Your parents told you it is always best to stick it out; as a general guideline that has some merit, but it is not an eternal truth. So when do you hang in the towel?
What about everybody else?
Do they even exist for you?
All you can see is the sunlight glinting on a desert road where you never were in a time before you, beckoning you on, calling you into the glint and the dry heat that smells like stillness.
What about the existence of others? It has a place in your philosophy, why not your heart?
but as an abstraction:
All the self-involvement and self-indulgence,
but without the riding chaps, the stetson, the infallible six-shooter, whistful woman in every port–
Sour hurt in the stomach, squishing you down, squishing you in; imploding like suddenly deep in the ocean, squished into a long string with some other long strings dangling off it. If I could just explode outward instead of inward! Then I’d get past this glitch.
BW / AMW