Saturday, March 29, 2008

I have this daydream. One day, when no one else is around, I stuff some clothes in a bag, grab CDs and toiletries and some empty notebooks, and just take off. Get in the car without a map and just drive south until I hit desert. Mexico maybe, someplace hot and dry and empty, where I can clear my head.

I feel like I'm swamped in stories that other people tell. My head is full of other people's words, other people's feelings, and I daydream about just leaving all this behind and setting off to try to find out what would be in my head if I didn't have my books and tv shows and blogs filling me up with the things other people think about.

Its not practical, I know that. I'm ill and broke, and living alone drives me completely around the bend. Living alone out of a car in a foreign country is a really bad idea. But I still find myself mentally assembling packing lists and contemplating brushing up on my Spanish. I'm starting some plants for a garden this summer, and when I was at the garden store a couple weekends ago, I contemplated getting some cacti for an indoor pot, but decided I couldn't. The more I contemplate being somewhere else, the more I feel trapped. I don't know what it is about the desert that makes me think its calling me, but something has to change or my heart is going to burst.


Elizabeth McClung said...

I like your two labels: "Burn it all down" and "happiness" - which don't USUALLY go together but I understand what you mean though I have the security now which makes me merely afraid when anything tips it that I might tumble back into the living out of car seems a solution. Well it is. It is just the American, "you can rebuild everything, blah blah" is based entirely around the able bodied model. Did you read Ms. Bond's story about how she worked and then married for health insurance; lives in a place of the country different than she wants, works a job she never trained for but she's got the HEALTH insurance.

Sorry, didn't mean to depress you further.

Why is there no: "take a vacation from your life" fund? Or grant? I don't suppose the VA could "relocate you" to the Hawaii branch for two weeks? No.

The Goldfish said...

I used to have a very similar fantasy, although Mexico was a little far away. I'm afraid I came to regard it as a toned-down version of suicide; I just wanted to be rid of everything I had to deal with. There were one or two train journeys where I was very close to getting on the 'wrong' train and just seeing where I ended up.

Unfortunately, the greatest thing I wanted to be rid of was my condition and its consequence, which would, as Elizabeth says, put the kibosh on the entire project.

The thing is to find ways of less dramatic, less permanent escape. And then start building the life you want in the place you are - not just geographically, but in every other sense. This is about a squillion times easier said than done, but it can be worth the effort.

Tayi said...

Its funny how both the desire to be healthy and the desire for death can manifest in the same impulse to drop everything and leave. I think you both are right, and I know that one grand gesture has almost zero chance of fixing the things that are really wrong. No matter how far you go, you always carry yourself along with you. The problem is that what I really want from life is impossible at this point in time, so I'm left without a course of action.

A vacation sponsored by the VA, btw, is a really bad idea. You'd be stuck in a queue for 3 years or so, until they approved your vacation without telling you until the day before you had to leave. If you wanted a nice long weekend in the Carribean, you'd be sent to someplace cold and remote, like Nepal, where you don't speak the language and have no money in the local currency, and then it would turn out that your travel arrangements back home were botched, so you'd have to redo them yourself on your own dime.

Not that I think the worst of the VA or anything.