Life and Leaving

You know, I always wanted to run away. I was going to add, “when I was a kid,” but frankly, that feeling has never left. I think I have this adventurer’s spirit that has never quite broken free. I’m sure I’ll have a very interesting midlife crisis.

Maybe it’s good or maybe it’s bad that I didn’t try it. I remember waiting for something special to happen–for a meteorite to crash near my house and a talking bee to tell me I’m the chosen one, for example. I was a kid who wrote screenplays and planned on starting a movie theatre with my friends solely to show off movies I wrote, directed, and starred in. I constructed epic sagas with my toys and stuffed animals, and was serious enough to get caught playing with my sister’s Barbie because I needed a female character. I wanted to play imagination games well after my friends grew out of it. I wanted everything to be a story, to have a meaning. It still affects how I think of the world. Maybe it’s a defence mechanism–I distance myself from life by fictionalizing it. I see everything as parts we play based on some script we instinctively know. It’s funny how improper it seems to cut through bullshit, when doing so would save everyone a lot of time and heartache. But a story isn’t much fun without a healthy dose of miscommunication.

Back to the running away thing. I wished that I had a wilderness nearby that I could get lost in and raise myself as a jungle warrior. I wanted to start walking in a direction and meet new friends and fall in love and save the world along the way. I wanted to be a starving artist in New York. So far, none of those things have happened.

I’ve never been suicidal. But if, for some reason, I wanted to end it all, I don’t think I’d opt for a bridge or a revolver with one bullet. I’d want to disappear. Leave this life behind. Run away, run away, run away. Live in the bush. Walk the earth. Starve and paint and write in New York. Be someone new. H. Supertramp.

There are a million other lives I could live. Improbable, dangerous lives, yes, but some of them aren’t entirely in the realm of fiction. I occasionally ask myself if this life is really the one I should stick with. There are a lot of things I could have done, or places I could have gone. I guess, for all my disappointment and frustration and heartache and whimsy and melancholy, I’m curious about this life. And I want to see where it might lead. I suppose that will have to be enough.

– H.

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