WHAT WOULD YOU DO, IF?
A question I raised to a friend the other day . . . what would you do if you had no financial responsibilities, if you did not need to work to pay the bills, if you were free to just be?
Well, what would you do?
I’m as close to living that type of life as I’ve been since I was nineteen, so I can take a shot at the answer, if you don’t mind, and you can be formulating your own answer in your own mind while I ramble on.
I will preface this section by peeling back a layer of myself, for all to see. I suspect I will always be restless. I suspect I will always be unsatisfied. Not totally restless, not totally unsatisfied, but enough of a percentage as to leave me, quite often, wondering if I will ever find total and complete peace of mind, heart, and spirit. I think I’m closer now than I’ve ever been, but I know something is missing.
The thing is, when you’ve never had something, when you’ve never experienced something, how do you know when you actually achieve it? Will I know when I’m at peace? Will I know when I am satisfied? Or will I forever be like a nomadic monk, looking for answers ad infinitum, living a life of questions more than a life of answers?
So, what would I do if I had no financial responsibilities, and I was free to just be?
I don’t know, honest answer, and I’m as close to financially free, right now, as I’ve ever been . . . and I don’t know what I would do. I don’t know what I will do.
The journey continues, like David Carradine in Kung Fu. I need to wear a robe, sell the bus, and travel on foot with a staff.
So, now, it is your turn. What would you do?
I’M QUICKLY REALIZING THAT I AM NOT LIKE OTHER BUS-LIFERS
The bus life community, as seen on YouTube videos, are of two types: one, the single, white, barely-clothes young women who don’t seem to have a care in the world or a problem to speak of, or two, the retired couples who have decked out their 30’ buses with all the latest modern gadgetry.
Which leaves me, a septuagenarian with a, shall we say modest, shuttle bus, without a community.
Seriously, if you have nothing better to do this evening, watch a few bus life or van life videos. The van life videos, in particular, seem to be a place where young women frolic through the wilderness, not one hair on their heads out of place, make-up perfectly applied, no dirt or bugs to be found, and the cynic in me is screaming at the ridiculousness of it, for in nine months I have yet to meet anyone who looks like that.
What else sets me apart? I’m not out in the wilderness like so many other van lifers and bus lifers seem to be. I drive a shuttle bus, a passenger vehicle, and it was not built to travel over forest roads with potholes the size of Rhode Island. I rarely wake up with views of towering mountains within shouting distance. I do not cook gourmet meals on a modern stove, I do not have a water heater or a compartmentalized shower, and my dog tracks in dirt faster than Daniel Boone in his prime.
But weirdly, I am happy with my lifestyle.
I just wish once I would meet some of these models in vans, just to confirm they are really out there.
THE NEIGHBORS STOPPED BY
The deer population at Ocean Shores has no natural enemies. They are great in number, they are protected by the local government, they are pampered by the residents, and they have absolutely no fear of man at all.
I have a motion detecting “porch light” on the side of Puddle Walker, and four times last night a deer set off the light by walking within ten feet of the bus. Now don’t fool yourself for a moment, those deer know I am in that bus. They have dropped by on numerous occasions during the day, so curious and unafraid that even Maggie off-leash doesn’t concern them . . . and, in truth, Maggie is so curious she hasn’t barked at them yet . . . it’s just a bit bizarre to see deer, in the year 2023, in a city, completely oblivious to mankind driving and walking past them.
Right off the dock, at the property I am staying at, is a family of river otters. They hopped up on the deck this morning while Maggie and I were walking along the property. Scared the hell out of Maggie, gave me a moment of pause. They stared at us, we stared at the four of them, and then they turned, dove into the water, and waved goodbye with their tails. (I made that last part up.)
This evening, on the dock again, high above us in a rather large tree, a family of four raccoons watched us. Maggie spotted them first, I have no idea how, because I had a hard time making out their shapes, and unlike the deer and otters, Maggie barked with malice at the raccoons.
I wonder why? It’s an instinct thing, of that I am certain, but what is in Maggie’s DNA that says raccoons are dangerous but otters and deer simply curiosities?
I’m told blue heron stop by often as well.
Nature blows me away. There are so many things about it I do not understand, but it fascinates me nonetheless.
I wonder what other wonders I will see while staying here?
It beats the hell out of the Real Housewives of Dubai, or the latest political hack spewing counter-productive hatred at the other side.
My adopted parents did not have my curiosity about things such as the natural world. They were “eyes to the road and get to your destination” sort of people. My birth family died too young to even exercise curiosity. Far too busy with drugs and alcohol, me thinks. Which leaves me, the odd duck, the outsider, always on the fringe, always wondering about things, always daydreaming, always fantasizing.
Anyway, it was nice of our neighbors to drop by. It was a warm gesture and it made me feel welcomed. I can’t speak for Maggie, of course.