What do you do when you’re a stranger in a strange land?
Pretty simple, I guess…
You roll with the natives. Blend in. Adapt. Learn the basic customs and protocols. You make note of every major rule “normal” people conform to, and try to play their game the best you can, without rippling too much water during your learning curve.
But what if you come to the realization the new land sucks — I mean really fucking sucks? What if you’ve done your best to live amicably among the denizens, but you ultimately find their lifestyle unbearable and intolerable? What if you find yourself amongst a collective so hopelessly indoctrinated to idiotic rules, rituals, and modalities of thinking, that each day you spend with them seems like a living fucking hell?
The most obvious answer is you get the fuck out. As quickly as you can.
A simple solution, indeed, unless you’re no longer able to locate the exit door — either because you can’t remember where it is, or because it’s been intentionally hidden from you.
So you’re stuck. The only thing you can do is “make the most of it.” You tell yourself all kinds of fluffy, happy bullshit to turn your days of torment into something tolerable. You do the best you can to mitigate the pervasive insanity that no one seems to question, and try to keep your mind occupied on the little things that still put a smile on your face, while robotically trudging through your duties and responsibilities necessary for survival.
But how long can you keep it up? How long before you end up losing your fucking mind, pretending to give a shit about things that don’t excite you in the least? How many more conversations about politics and weather can you endure before considering swallowing a bullet, or taking a fifty-foot swan dive off a tall bridge?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m nearing my quota…
Earth is a fascinating planet. No question about that. The physical experiences we can collect here are innumerable. There’s always something incredible waiting around the corner. The only fucking problem is that we’ve been forced into a situation that is completely unnatural to our species. We’ve built up this ridiculous construct around ourselves called society, and if we’re unwilling to play its game, we quickly become labelled outsiders, freaks, losers, whiners, manic-depressives, or a hundred other names to denote creatures dispassionate about following the herd.
Our addiction to the hoarding of paper dollars plays a big role in our collective illness. Our passions are hindered because of it, and our desires are warped by it. When someone tells me a story about working 3 jobs to save enough money for a month long vacation overseas, something in my heart screams out, “that ain’t fuckin’ right!”
How much time do we spend doing things we don’t want to do for a small window of opportunity to experience “freedom?” If you take this job, Bill, we’ll give you 2 weeks paid vacation time per year. 14 whole days, eh? Wow, sign me up! 50 weeks of annual drudgery in your piece-of-shit criminal corporation sounds like an ideal way for me to wile away my life.
If you choose to own your own business, you’re probably not even gonna get that much. Unless you’re exploiting other people for slave-wages, I guarantee an independent business won’t be providing you any greater degree of freedom from the system.
Over my formative years, I really gravitated toward art — drawing, painting, building shit, you name it. When I discovered my first airbrush, the possibilities before me seemed limitless. After 15 years of 16-hour days to build up a successful mural business, I woke one morning to learn something disconcerting — I fucking hate painting. Not because of the practice itself, but because of its attachment to money. Something I loved ended up becoming a loathsome routine for paying bills and putting food on the table.
Whenever I try to sit down to paint something these days, my entire system screams out I’m wasting my time. I’m not fast enough, not efficient enough, not good enough, and no one will give a shit about the piece at the end of the day, so why bother? None of those factors are indeed legitimate, but they’ve become entangled emotionally in my body because of all the years I’ve spent selling art for survival.
Cooking is another example. Truthfully, I fucking love it. When I lived for 6 months with my Hare Krishna buddies in Hawaii, I took over the job of cooking a giant meal for 30 or more guests every Saturday. No one asked me to do it, and no one paid me to do it — it was something I volunteered for. Though people helped out with some of the items on my ever-changing menus, I was much happier working by my lonesome. Friday night was my most exciting time of the week — planning out newer and weirder ideas to feast upon. It never felt like a chore, and I never dreaded a Saturday cooking frenzy.
Working in a kitchen here in Canada ain’t quite the same. It feels a lot like the mural thing again — rush, rush, rush, from one order to the next. It doesn’t take long for the excitement of a new menu in a new restaurant to wear off, transforming the process into a numbing routine of pumping out a product quickly and efficiently, all in the name of making a buck or two.
Opening my own restaurant isn’t even a thought I’d consider anymore. I don’t want cooking to fall into the same abyss my love for art did.
With all that whining aside, I guess it’s about time to find some new solutions to living a happy life. If everyone else is content to play this stupid fucking game, more power to them. Me, I’m at my wit’s end. If escape ain’t possible, the only viable alternative is to make up a new strategy.
What that might be, I have no clue at the moment. I’m close to considering not publishing my new book, just so I don’t attach a perverse monetary association to it. Maybe I’m better off giving it away for free. Maybe I’m better off doing everything for free, as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing. Maybe the solution is to ditch every material possession I own, and go wander the streets like a fucking hobo. I’m pretty close to that state as it is, so why not go the whole nine yards?
I don’t fucking know.
But it’s late, and my eyes are growing weary. With any luck, a lucid dream awaits tonight. Perhaps I’ll find some solutions there. Though, truthfully, the last thing I want to do is contaminate my alternate dimensional travels with shitty Earth life. I fucking love exploring the astral realm. It’s one of the last things that keeps my hope of freedom alive. Perhaps the mysterious exit door off this stupid planet is entangled there somewhere.
I’m not done lookin’ just yet…
Either way, this is my last ride on the JunkieSphere. The carnival doesn’t excite me anymore. I’m sick of the candy floss, and I don’t relate well to the pinheads wandering the midway. It was a fun 10,000 incarnations on this blue rock, but I’m getting off the carousel for good this time. Cooler worlds await.
Maybe we’ll meet again one day somewhere else in the Universe — in a place less fucked up and closed-minded than this insane asylum.
Till then, sweet dreams.