On being back

Part of me is trying to take my routine from the road and cram my “real life” into it. One obvious reason why it doesn’t fit is, I just have too many possessions. They’re stacked around me. I need multiple rooms to hold them all.

And yet these are all needed for a typical life in one place. They save time and money. They’re valuable. Right now I am seeing them from a strange perspective. They remind me of the heaps of trash I saw on the lawns of the houses in small Kansas towns. Lives destroyed by poverty and methamphetamines. What good did their possessions do them?

Actually, let me pull the brakes on this whole train of thought, and grind it into reverse. Let me ask, “what does all this introspection and writing do for me?”

We both die, after our singular and cosmically ineffective lives, me and the tweeker with his garbage on the lawn. I am taking my own tendency to take things seriously too seriously. Perhaps that’s the biggest lesson from this trip: All of our lives, even the most important things we can identify in them, are transient.

I look around here at the environment I left behind, and I remember how I felt inside it, and I think, “It could be like the trip never happened at all. Here’s all my old stuff, and all my old unfinished business.” But I can now see the ways in which this old life chafes me, like a badly tailored suit.

So much activity – so much thought and observation – was crammed into every hour on the road, and I now feel a kind of revulsion at the slowness of life before it. Did I really spend entire days indoors, reading web pages and moving files around? Did I really consider a bicycle ride to the supermarket across town, less than two miles, to be too difficult? Too time consuming? Too much hassle? I just spent the last month riding 50 miles every day of the week, with 50 pounds of ballast, through wind and thunderstorms, and all it did me was good.

What were you thinking, previous me?

You must have been really twisted up inside yourself to see things that way.

Being unemployed has given me plenty of time to think but it has turned into a poison. I need to hammer at the dream of society building again. It’s time to get things done.

One Response to On being back

  1. Erika says:

    And now, tomorrow morning, you begin a new job, finally closing the interstitial chapter and opening a new one, with purpose.

    I hope you are continuing to untwist as the months pass after your trip.

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