Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a run of luck with the column in the paper thing. It was a fun ride, but the idea for this project came about a month or so before I was unceremoniously tossed. Anyone looking to toss blame in that direction, look elsewhere.
It has occurred to me I should have asked publisher for something “for the effort” like Bill Murray/Dalai Lama in “Caddyshack.” I already had total awareness, so it seems I’ve now got a double dip cone of it.
We seem to have forgotten something, both as individuals and as a country. If you think the place where you’re at sucks, shuffle your feet and move your ass.
Years back, when doing some supervisory work, I had one of the folks confront me in a screaming rage, threatening to quit his job. Typical asshole me, I replied very calmly “Its a big beautiful world out there, cupcake…go discover it.”
It is far past time to follow my own advice.
Before launching into the next bit, I have to preface. I’m FINE. No medical issues of any sort that anyone my age doesn’t have.
Let’s say for a minute you discovered an issue in your health. You go to your local chest-thumper, who does some tests. A couple of weeks later when the lab test results come back, you get a call from the office that the Doc would like you to come in for a followup.
Has your sphincter tightened up so tight, if you fart you’re going to make a sound only dogs will hear? Yeah, I thought so. The Doc hands you that bad news…inoperable. Six months…maybe a year at the outside.
How would you change your life, at least what was left of it?
Would you vow to go down swinging, taking a risk on the latest untested medication trial or quackery?
Now, know that you’re fine..you’re OK. What are you waiting for?
In the last couple of years I’ve had several friends in that same situation. One went so far as to sign up for several credit cards, ran up a debt of about 80 grand partying like a rock star. “What the fuck are they gonna do..dig me up?” was his response.
I’ve also lost a few that never got that chance. In a flash, they were gone. No last second reprieve, just gone. WTF.
I figure it this way. If I take a month or three to travel the trail, hitting places up for day labor and living in a tent. I’m much farther ahead than I would be sitting here in Portland, Maine.
“Great, another hobo that wants to climb on the government tit” you might be saying. Nope. Day labor. No handouts. I pay my own way. No shelters or soup kitchens. If I stay along Route 1, I’ll never be hungry a second, so long as I have my fishing rod.
Time to find a new place, and not sully it trying to turn it into what I’m leaving. There are stories out there to be found, and stories to be swapped. Call it a moment of Thoreau. There has to be something out there better than a grinding wait for a doctor to officially give you permission to misbehave.