People want to matter. They want to believe they have a purpose for being alive. Something beyond simply basking in enjoyable experiences and accumulating things of value and money. Most people want more than that. But for some, all that matters is wealth that gives them some sort of twisted sense of superiority.
And then there are others who are sure that mattering, having purpose, or believing their lives have some fundamental meaning are irrelevant and worthy of scorn. They are the nihilists, extreme skeptics who either deny all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth. Is truth subjective? And are goodness and badness and meaning also subjective and impossible to actually know? I think nihilists must be deeply depressed; either that or textbook sociopaths whose conscience, if it exists, lies buried deep in the recesses of the brain from which escape is impossible. I think I once was nihilist; or thought I was. I now like to think that was simply a phase.
My psychological-theory-of-the-day is pointless. I do not have enough knowledge of the human condition or the way the brain functions to really know anything. Almost all of my so-called “knowledge” has been delivered to me as factual. And, in most cases, I have not questioned it. What if most of our understanding of the world was based on lies or bad information? What if we learned that “the rest of us” are the mutants, the crazy ones, the deviants…and that the people society tends to lock away exhibit the natural behaviors of our species?
There are so many “what if” questions that compel me to think about them at night. Sometimes they are personal questions about different directions my life might have taken, like living in a van and getting odd jobs around the country, just to survive. Or what if I had taken the advice of a contemptible man who fancied himself a human resources genius and gotten a job as a Radio Shack manager instead of looking for something more in line with my interests. Some “what if” questions are a bit broader. Like, “Is a question about “before and after” with regard to the existence of the universe relevant? Is it answerable?”
Have I mentioned that I have friends who have gotten into tarot card reading? I put no stock in the practice, but that doesn’t stop me from being intensely curious about what a reading might “reveal” about me. While I really do put no stock in tarot card reading, I am edging just slightly away from my unshakeable disbelief in such hogwash as mind-reading. What?! Can I have written that? Yes, but it’s not as woo-woo as it sounds. When I consider that invisible radio waves can be transmitted and received, I have to acknowledge that invisible energy exists. And if we can transmit information through the air with the proper equipment, might we not also be able to transmit (or intercept) energy in the form of information as it is transmitted from the brain to the open air. I am not saying I believe it happens; only that I acknowledge it’s conceivable.
Late Wednesday afternoon, after the corned beef and cabbage dinner with my wonderful neighbors, I walked Bob a bit, hoping he would relieve himself of intestinal congestion. He did. A little. In spite of more walking, though, he seemed disinterested. So, we went home. I watched Nomadland. Bob sat next to me on the loveseat, watching me watch Nomadland. While the film is slow to develop, I think choosing to film and edit it that way helped tell the story. It was never boring, as far as I was concerned. Some people who either chose or were forced to live the life of a nomad, including two very visible characters, Swankie and Linda May, were featured in the film, along with Bob Wells, a well-known advocate for the RV lifestyle. I would give the film a rating of 9 on a 10-point scale. Definitely worth watching.
After the movie, during which I drank a little wine and otherwise sought an elevated mood, I turned off the television and sat on the loveseat, thinking. Mostly, I thought about how stressful living in a van or an RV probably would be, but also how liberating it could be. The freedom to just pick up and go when the mood struck you would be wonderful. Of course, when you’re scraping by to afford gas for the vehicle and food for the stomach, freedom might be an overrated state of being. However, I might be able to get used to the RV lifestyle with the right vehicle; one that would cost as much as my house, probably. I have such mixed feelings about RV “camping” though. It’s not really camping. It’s Nature-insertable small-capsule living. I’m convinced camping involves small tents, sleeping bags, small and portable cooking gear, maps, and a compass. And food and water, of course. Unless you really want to rough it. I wish I wanted to, but I don’t.
Suddenly, the time was 2:00 a.m. I wondered how three hours sitting on the love seat could have passed without me knowing it. I told myself I should get up and go to bed. And I did. But it was three hours later. Finally, at 5:00 a.m., I awoke and stayed awake long enough to undress and go to be. I set the alarm, though, not trusting myself to wake up of my own volition. At 7:30, the alarm went off for all of one second; I heard its “preparatory noise,” which prompted me to lunge at it in an attempt to silence it before it began. I almost made it.
The remainder of the following morning, Thursday, was uneventful. I vacuumed a little, ate the remainder of some sweet rolls for breakfast, blogged a little, made a “tuna salad on steroids” for my lunch, walked Bob thrice (finally, I no longer have concerns about his digestion, by the way), and otherwise frittered away my time. Then, around 4, a new friend stopped by to return to me a folder on the old Camry and to show off her new car. We chatted. And chatted. And chatted. At some point, I got hungry and suggested Mexican food from El Jimador. We took her car to pick up the orders. We talked and chatted and talked some more. It was a nice evening. Judging from the kitchen sink, the nice evening involved a not insignificant amount of wine.
And here it is, Friday morning. Later than usual Friday morning. As in, almost 8 o’clock late. It’s an embarrassment and a Sin against Nature and Humanity (capitalizing just seemed appropriate) that I would be in bed after light spreads across the land. That happens only in sickness, madness, and tiredness.
Yes, here I am on Friday morning and I feel more than a little dizzy at this moment. Even sitting at the computer, my head keeps bobbing up and down in response to sleep and sudden wakefulness. I hope this is temporary and meaningless.