Trying and doing since 2001
for 27 January 2003.


[Ham pre-orbit]

For some reason when I was riding

the stationary bike at the gym,

sitting behind a plate glass window

staring out at a vacant sidewalk

and the gray, shapeless fog beyond,

I realized that my life has become

a space mission. Pedaling madly

to preserve my muscle tone and

work off the fat of a sedentary

work environment I could picture

my whole life as a modular world.

The apartment module, the work/study

module, and the exercise area.

If I ignored the travel distance

between each place and pretended

that they were just parts of an

orbiting station connected by

short tubes I could easily think

of myself as an astronaut. But

where I am I going? Was this

a heroic mission to destroy some

dangerous meteor that was on a

collision course with Earth?

Was Ben Affleck secretly rooting

for me as I pedaled Liv Tylor

Earthside shedding tears for her

outerspace savior? That's not

what I felt. Not even the exhilaration

of some idealized 50's teenager

with Converse shoes and a buzz

cut, hopeful that he too could

be part of the chosen few to go

where no man had gone before.

If anything I felt a deep concern

for what my life had become.

At 25 I am already puffing away

at the gym battling the bulge

and heading to bed soon after

a hot shower just so I won't fall

asleep the next morning at my

desk. A desk! Aren't 20 somethings

supposed to be outside sweating

in a field somewhere sowing wheat

or something? Gutting fish on

some Alaskan canning boat, guiding

tourists on whitewater rapids,

digging ditches in the sun, flying

fighter planes, teaching children,

playing guitar in a smoky club

anything, anything but sitting

10 feet underground in a windowless

basement staring at twin CRTs

hoping that they won't get carpal

tunnel before they're 30. This

is not a rendezvous with some

alien obelisk in orbit around

Jupiter. This is not a mission

to Mars. This isn't even a plain

old trip to the moon. At best

I am orbiting the planet, content

to stay at home and just enjoy

the view. There is more to this

I'm sure. There are people that

I love and places I like to go.

I have interests and hobbies.

Somehow though it all doesn't

seem right yet I can't really

think of anything better. I had

a professor in college who always

used to talk about the mythical

simple life as "cutting the soles

off your shoes and playing a flute

in a tree." This is meant to

be funny. I mean it sounds appealing

but the point is that as shitty

as society seems there isn't a

simple answer like climbing a

tree to twiddle a flute. I like

this saying even though I wish

it weren't true. Actually I know

a few folks who prove it wrong.

I was in Tonasket WA and met this

guy who built his own house with

a beautiful bay window that looked

out over rolling hills, mountains

in the distance, and not another

house or street in site. He didn't

have toilets in his house either

'cause he didn't like to "shit

in his home". He used an outhouse

instead. He did it. No ridiculous

space mission for him. Just peaceful

living on his own terms in his

own house. Somehow I don't think

I could do it. I'm too much a

part of this fucked of way of

life. There are no answers in

this rant. Just a place to start.

Mission control to all spacemonkys.

Welcome to

courtesy of John Winters

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