First, my brush with death exactly one week ago has left me with a new and improved perspective on life. Now that I should be dead, each new day of life is a bonus round. Every day now presents a new opportunity to live a little. Consequently, I have a lot less bullshit to worry about because when you really get down to it, nothing really matters. Nothing we say or do matters. Nothing we feel or accomplish matters. Nothing we believed in life matters once we're dead.
If I say something outrageously stupid here, it cannot possibly bother me if I'm dead tomorrow. So why let it bother me today, especially if my outrageously stupid comment turns out to be the deepest, most important thing I'll ever say? There will come a day when I won't be alive tomorrow, so there shall be no more pussying out when it comes to things I really want to say or do today.
New life objective #1
There is a girl I've noticed recently during my weekly hang-out session at Dino's Cappuccinos in Yellow Springs. I think she is a student at Antioch, but I'm not positive. Anyway, I can't stop thinking about her. Yes, I am physically attracted to her, but that's not why I keep thinking about her.
It all begins with her eyes and her smile. I've always felt that the eyes are the doorway to the soul (even though I don't necessarily believe in the existence of the soul.) I think people communicate more effectively and more honestly through body language than through verbal or written speech. Eyes don't lie, perhaps because the eyes bear witness to the consequences of all verbal lies. The eyes have a conscience of their own, and her eyes just keep whispering the nicest things to me.
My lady has arrived at Dino's late in the afternoon each of the last two Wednesdays. One day she arrived alone but soon began chaperoning a young girl after the girl's father dropped her off outside the shop. The other day she arrived at Dino's with the little girl but soon turned the girl back over to her father when he pulled up out front. I'm pretty sure, though, that she also came to Dino's alone the previous Wednesday, earlier in the afternoon, which must have been when my unconscious mind began feeling the urge to know her.
I don't know her name, but I think she drinks tea and I'm pretty sure she's 22 because last week the little girl loudly said something about her being 22. That's as much as I know about her.
Uh-oh, it sounds like Ryan's obsessed, you might be thinking. Well, what if I am obsessed? So what! I've known for many years that obsessiveness is a major component of my personality, and maybe I'm healthier than most people simply because I don't run from that inescapable truth. Besides, what do you think perfectionism is? It's obsession, and all great ideas and accomplishments blossom in obsessed minds.
I take a lot of pride in the things I've accomplished in my life, and none of them would have happened without obsession:
- I have bowled 300 twice, largely because I spent the previous three years practicing obsessively, bowling about 100 games almost every week, brainwashing my body to make the right moves. (I bowled 300 on January 13, 2004 and June 16, 2004. I have not hurled a bowling ball since July 2005. Obsessions end.)
- I once was a great drummer only because I obsessively practiced all day almost every day.
- I have taught myself how to make the best pizza I've ever eaten, all thanks to my obsessive personality.
I am not obsessed with this young woman. If anything, I may be obsessed with the idea that it could be good or right for me to know her. I don't feel like I need to know her or that I need to be with her. That is the dangerous kind of obsession. I just feel like there may be some kind of unspoken connection between the two of us, and I'd like to find out if it's really there. If it's not there, there's no point in forcing it or deluding myself like I've done in the past.
Even though I'll be free to begin Aimless as soon as I pick up a prescription tomorrow, I'm going to put off my departure a few days so I can go to Dino's one more time before I leave, in hopes of meeting my lady.
So am I still the pussy I've always been? Even though I've convinced myself there's nothing to lose by talking to her this Wednesday (because either one of us could be dead by Thursday), will I actually follow through with my new outlook on life or will I cave in to the same fears that have always kept me from getting what I want? There's absolutely nothing to lose by walking up to her and saying, "Hi, I'm Ryan. I think I'd like to know you." But will I do it?
Although I guess I knew this immediately following my recent "Fuck you" to the grim reaper, it took a few days for my mind to register that not only did I save my own life, but I also saved the SUV driver's life.
Wow, I saved someone's life.
I've always thought it would be an awesome experience to directly save someone's life, but this is not how I envisioned it happening. Now don't get me wrong; I'm not disappointed because I didn't come out looking like a hero or anything like that. Fact is, I am a hero. I know I'm a hero and the guy driving the SUV knows I'm a hero. That's not my ego talking, either. That's just how it is.
I did what I did, and now it's over. Just knowing I saved someone else's life is more of a reward than being recognized for it.
(That's an oxymoron or something.)
I'll probably hit the road again Thursday. My plans could change, though, depending on the weather.
I think I'll start out by walking east along Ohio State Route 665 through Darbydale to Interstate 71, where I'll try to get a ride south. It's about a 10-mile walk to the interstate, so I probably won't get very far the day I leave. But if I can manage to get a ride to Cincinnati, I should at least be able to sleep at my brother's house, which is only a couple miles off 71, near King's Island. Assuming that happens, I'll be able to get up and at it early the next morning and probably get down the road pretty far.
Where will I go from there? Doesn't matter. There's a reason I call this Aimless, y'know. Although I've been planning to head south--probably to Louisiana--I might end up in Seattle or Boston instead, especially now that I have decided to take a jacket.
(If you remember, the main reason I intended to head south right away is that I wasn't going to take a jacket and northern latitudes would still be too cool or cold not to have a jacket. Also, Luke was scheduled to play in a golf tournament in Baatawn Roozhe in late April, but his schedule has changed since I made those plans. He's now playing on the Canadian Tour, which strangely only seems to have tournaments in the western United States and Mexico.)
My sick mind
I posted another Stephen Colbert edit on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9B8q6nTOmE. This one is pretty sick and perverted, but I couldn't stop laughing when I watched it, even after spending many hours putting it together.
This one isn't a "full-length" video. It's just a sequence I may put in my final cut. All the audio and video is from the source interview; I added nothing. (I'm a pretty damn creative dude.)
My other Colbert edits:
- Stephen Colbert: For Your Editing Pleasure - Mostly clean edits, to keep it looking real. Pretty predictable and unfunny until the final 30 or 40 seconds. The end is very funny.
- Stephen Colbert: For Your Editing Pleasure #2 - This one is good. Funny and creative.
- Stephen Colbert: For Your Editing Pleasure, Take 3 - This one is even better. It's mostly the same as #2 but has some changes and smoother edits. YouTube users are currently rating this one in the Top 5 of at least 200 Stephen Colbert edits.
- Stephen Colbert Gets Edited AND Pleasured - This one is probably the best by far. Even though most of this edit borrows stuff I've put in the previous edits, this one is way the fuck better. I am going to submit this one to The Colbert Report very soon. (Unfortunately this one is out of sync on YouTube. I have now uploaded it twice, and I'm not wasting my time anymore.)
All right, I think that's all for now. Don't expect much more blog activity for a while because I don't have any of the equipment I'd hoped to acquire by the time I began doing this for real, specifically a laptop. And to the 3 or 4 regular readers of this blog: I also will not post links to new blog entries on the front page under "New Stuff" after I hit the road. Believe it or not, what I'm about to do requires hours and hours of hard work every day, and I simply won't have time to update the front page from the road.
So just check here every once in a while. It'll be a lot more interesting this time.
Oh yeah, and one more thing. It's now been four months since I dislocated my ankle in Arizona, and it finally feels like it's starting to get better. I never saw a doctor about it, so I have no idea if I broke any bones or anything. I suspect I probably did break something or other, but if so, I think it has healed pretty well. It appears the most serious aspect of the injury was a pretty severe ligament tear, and I guess only time fixes that kind of thing. Anyway, I have some new hiking boots, which should help prevent another injury like that, so I'm feeling good about the next set of adventures.
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer