Instead of the familiar, the world and life I have returned to feels foreign and alien, an involuntary response shouting I would rather be elsewhere; two taxi weekends telling me, if this is life I would rather be dead. This past weekend 478 was twice hit, first on Halloween Saturday afternoon, a car striking me from behind. And Sunday, while peacefully eating a snack in the PCC co-op parking lot, someone backing into me.
While both incidents were minor, with no damage either to car or body, I found the accidents symptomatic of the disease that is life in early 21st Century America, a life (or death) style I find boring, unworthy of active participation. The young couple in the new 2015 Ford Fiesta were perfectly nice. So too was the woman shopping at the co-op.
I shook hands the first time, and reassured the errant backer at the co-op that I never saw anything occur. Why shout when it is simply too stupid, all of us joined "at the hip" in a symbiotic cultural agreement providing us confusion, anxiety and discontent.
Who needs it? I certainly don't, finding the commonplace unacceptable, clearly now, after over fifty sanity infused days traveling over Northeastern Europe, finding alternatives necessary and called for. How long can I remain whole before I again fracture into so many disassociated pieces, not wanting to again sink into irrevocable oblivion. Whatever breaths I have left, be it tonight or the next twenty years, I refuse to inhale stupidity. No thank you, I say, no thank you, madam or gentleman or Mister and Mrs Misplaced and Inane God, Devil or Mythology.
Today I drove a few morning hours after Tom, my day driver, called off to spend the day at the local Social Security office. My second fare out of three total was a school run, taking two sweet kids on a long ride from NE 110th & Lake City Way to Honeydew Elementary in the Renton Highlands, battling early morning traffic mile after tedious mile. Jason, the first-grader, related how, when "they were poor," the entire family (both parents and four children) slept in their car. "It hurt my back," he lamented. Indefatigable, he sang the "Honeydew" theme song. Sweet yet sorrowful. What a f__ked existence! I shook their hands too, for a quick moment loving them for the innocents they were as they sprinted off to school and class, their cabbie nearly a half hour late.
So here I am and, for the moment and time being, remain. What else could I be doing? Maybe growing crisp apples in the shade of the Carpathians. Or more closely to what will probably happen, residing in the rolling prairie hills in Montana's southeastern corner bordering South Dakota, watching the pronghorn running free across the grassy plains. I can salute that potential reality, watching the welcoming sun rise over the Dakotas, the morning breeze telling me that life once and for all is worth living, sharing my breath to a life I can finally and fully appreciate and comprehend.