Intimacy and Anarchy

This morning, I stumbled across a YouTube video in which a couple shows off their full-time “van-life” van and talks about what they did to convert the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Though I dragged myself away from the 25-minute video after only 12 minutes or so, the vehicle and the fantasies (call it vision, if you like) that spurred its conversion got me hooked for a while. The couple that built it planned on being full-time “van-lifers,” though after building their dream van people began clamoring for their help with van conversions. The demand for their time increased exponentially. So, I gather they may not be living on the road full-time; instead, they travel when they want but devote whatever time they deem appropriate and necessary to what is, I suppose, a lucrative little business. I would like to have such a van. I do not necessarily want to build it myself, though. There was a time, when I was younger and more agile and had fewer aches and pains in every damn joint in my body that I would have wanted to do the work. I still do want to the work, actually, but I acknowledge the fact that I am getting rather brittle in my decrepitude. The actual work of van conversions is suited to younger people, though ideas for design that would enhance utility and comfort remain the province of people in their dotage as well as people in the foolishness of youth. What I lack in youth I also lack in extra, uncommitted cash, so, who is best suited to design and convert vans is not really a topic relevant to me. But if I were to win the lottery…


Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.

~ Ray Bradbury ~

This morning, at a few minutes past 8, I will rush off for my ultrasound appointment. The sonographer will press her sonography stick (or whatever it is called) against my lower abdomen and other parts as he or she conducts an ultrasound examination of my bladder and kidneys. This is a follow-up to my experience with a large kidney stone, removed in February, and the subsequent ultrasound to verify that all was well. It was. And this morning’s ultrasound will, I hope, confirm the same. They want me to have a full bladder for the ultrasound. They may or may not get their wish, inasmuch as the urgency and frequency of my need to pee has grown more demanding with the passage of each day. The age-related decay of one’s physical humanity begins as an annoyance and degrades into a impossibly deep well of full-scale aggravation.


I feel fortunate, in that mi novia is willing to indulge my wanderlust. When we begin our upcoming road trip, we will leave the house without having any specific destination in mind. We will just go. We may drive toward Traverse City, Michigan. Or Port Townsend, Washington. Or Charleston, South Carolina. Or Oswego, New York. Or Albuquerque, New Mexico. Or a combination thereof. We want to go too many places and our timeline for road-tripping is too short to actually fulfill all our dreams. So we will respond to each day with a decision on which direction we will head. It’s the planning for this trip (or the lack of planning, actually) that makes the idea of a full-equipped “van life” van so appealing. Motels are expensive and the experience of staying in a motel is so similar from place to place that I do not much like the idea of staying in motel after motel. But I’m also cranky and demanding in my old age, so the idea of staying in a B&B with limited privacy (and feeling the need to be very quiet very early in the morning) is unappealing. But it’s better than not traveling at all. Ach! I change my mind so damn frequently about travel and motels and having a van and on and on and on.


Argentinian Vice President (and former first lady and former president) Cristina Fernández de Kirchner survived an assassination attempt when the gun her attacker attempted to use failed to fire. Attempts, whether successful or not, to assassinate political leaders around the world demonstrate the dangers of politics. Or is it the dangers of governance? Or both? And is there really a difference? Governance is just one manifestation of politics. One cannot govern in the absence of political pressures. However, one can exert political pressures without enduring the burden of governance responsibilities. Yet exerting political pressures is a matter of degrees; assassination is on the extreme edge of such pressure. What one person considers compassion, another person considers weakness. What one person considers fairness, another considers injustice. We might all be better off living in a sealed environment in which politics is prohibited; but governance cannot exist in a political vacuum, so the prohibition of politics would correspond with the chaos of anarchy. There’s no winning a battle with oneself, no matter the strength or weakness of the opponent.


Politics have no relation to morals.

~ Niccolo Machiavelli ~


I am not a game player. At least not often. And not many types of games. I play words games, but only with people I find intellectually appealing. I play a few other games–just occasionally and maybe just one game–only with people whose company I like. There’s something about games that makes playing them with people one does not like a terrible struggle. One not worth the effort. That something, I suppose, is a certain level of intimacy. That intimacy is reserved for a limited number of people. Beyond that limited sphere, there’s a sizeable ring of discomfort. And beyond that, a more narrow ring of dislike. And, still further, a wider ring of dismissal or emptiness.


It’s approaching 6:45. I must shave, shower, and dress (obviously) before I leave for my appointment. I still have time for another cup of coffee and some avocado on toast. A decadent lifestyle, without doubt.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.