Thursday, October 18, 2012
Blending Home and Road: Metaphors Wanderlusted Men Can Understand
Photos like the one above drew (drove) me west. That such places actually existed and awaited the un-timid heart had me cutting a hole in my Springfield, Missouri "fence." I barely escaped with my life and dreams intact... before the rut got too deep, paycheck too big, paycheck too small, friends too dear, family too big, courage to small. So I loaded up a '66 GMC pickup truck, hitched a 24 foot house on wheels to it and put Springfield in my rearview mirror like it was Sodom and Gomorrah... never looking back lest I turn to a "pillar of road-salt."
I found "home" in western Colorado, met an equally restless soulmate and tried to settle down. But there is a duality to my personality (some would say "defect," Potato/Patahhto) that drives me to reach beyond my artistic and beautiful geographical "bird in hand," to risk Utopia... the one place that feels like "home," for something better in the "bush." "Something" I don't have a photo of, something I can't even describe, something that probably doesn't exist beyond the grey matter responsible for dreams.
So I must take "meds" for my "condition." Without them I would be sleeping under bridges, wearing out Goodwill shoes... on the move with a bedroll over a shoulder and a dollar and change in pocket. Those "meds" allow a wanderluster to live a relatively "normal" life. What kind of meds, you ask? The House on Wheels sort, the ones that allow young-and-restless turned old-and-still-restless to escape Utopia and/or Nirvanaville every once in a while in order to rest bleeding heart eyes on... maybe even flirt with... another Utopian-ville, the kind that feels sooo good in the moment, but, like all one-night-stands, are soon regretted.
So I'm about to take my "pill;" hit the road... flirt with "possibilities," maybe even have a fling or two with real-estate hookers in quaint villages. But I'm leaving the "anchor" at home, for there is no more dangerous lust than wanderlust. It's a merry-go-round that never stops; fun and games for a while, but eventually a ride from hell. There are reasons trees have roots. I don't like it any more than you do. However, if I'm perfectly honest, I do like to get off the go-round once in a while... stand on Lovely, familiar, and steady ground, say June through October, and for a little bit around Christmas holidays.
It's a compromise, a hearth and the road, sort of like kissing your sister. But it's where most Full Timers eventually end up, I believe. Compromise is not for "hardcores" and "purists." But surely it must cross their minds once in a while... just like the road crosses mine during long Utopian winters of discontent.
I learned the long-way-around that most of the prettiest "girl" towns are by now either "soiled," or married with families of their own. Do I really want to start over at this age... with spoiled stepchildren, extended family that requires a cheat sheet to keep track of... at a time in my life when I've all but forgotten how to "date." I sort of have an unwritten "pre-nup" with Lovely Ouray. I can leave, but not for good.
It just wouldn't work out any other way...
I will see you again as Verizon allows... which seems to be getting worse and worse with the advent of Smart Phones (sigh). Till then,