Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.

The Nut

After a 20 year “interruption” living life as I was raised to live it, I feel again those same things I did when I was first out of the house and on my own.  So alive, so vibrant, so energized by all the people I meet.  Strong, unstoppable. Limitless energy and potential.  And so fucking alone.  Questioning every goddamn day, every decision.  There is such a monumental difference between living the life that is in front of you, day-to-day, and taking a chance on a solitary path.

I see many of the ex-pats here trying to find a middle ground, but I don’t think it’s possible; you are either grounded or you are transient.  Grounded means comfortable.  Grounded is safe.  But there is no art in comfort, and, for me, safe falls somewhere in the direction of dead.

My senses are heightened in a way that was impossible for me just 9 months ago.  I stop and stare at the stars every time I walk out my front door.  I stroll through the plaza every afternoon and shake my head at the beauty of this place.  I pause to give bananas or a few soles to the older woman who lives in a shed with a dirt floor right next door to our house.  I make new friends every day from all over the world.  And yet everything hurts in a way that is always just below the surface, scratching at my fucking skin.  I was thinking today of my first philosophy course at university and the kick to the skull I experienced when Plato and Aristotle told me that it was not only okay, but necessary to question everything that we know, to challenge all assumptions.  Life may be easier to live unchallenged, but I can’t take back what I learned and I have to stumble into the darkness, irrespective of the pain that comes with that choice.

My pain is self chosen and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.  And yet I would kill to have my old life back, just for one day, one hour, one moment.

I find myself increasingly dreaming of a return to the road.  Routine is routine, regardless of how exotic or new the locale.  I love this place and I adore the people I have been able to meet while here.  But I (again) have a house, I have a job, and I have responsibilities that I cannot control.  Isn’t that what I chose to leave behind in the first place?  I have caught myself twice in the past week mentally repacking my bag, deciding what of the things I have acquired I am willing to leave behind (the three llama sweaters and the pink bedsheets immediately come to mind) in order to get back to one bag.

Sadly, the owner of The Lost City lost his mother to cancer last week.  I have no way of knowing for certain, but my gut says Michael will return to Cusco sooner than his original February intent, which means my future here is also quite uncertain.  Maybe that is for the best.

5 Responses to “The Nut”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff, buddy. Appreciate your bleeding, right in front of us. The quietest, and deepest, truth you've shared yet.


  2. Anonymous says:

    What? My almost daily stupid emails don't make you realize that you are on an adventure and should be having fun? I am writing then drinking today so be ready for an email that makes sense.

  3. Anonymous says:

    sorry to hear that your friends mom passed on. Maybe it's for the best if he comes back sooner. Take care. Jim

  4. Anonymous says:

    Although you admit you are incredibly vulnerable, right now you are also incredibly brave. Not many have the moxie that you have displayed! You are exposing your core self and have the courage to explore what would make you whole. One of my favorite quotes (who said it, I'm uncertain) is: "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

    Take all the time you need to figure yourself out-we're all doing it!

  5. She Spat says:

    Pack that bag Swendig!

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