Saturday, January 07, 2006

Empty My Brain

"I'd like to go somewhere...and just empty my brain, read books, and be with people who wanted to do the same thing."
That's a quote that really stood out for me in the latest book I'm reading, Douglas Coupland's "Generation X." It's about 3 twenty-somethings who give up a life of stress, conformity and materialism and move to a cheap bungalow apartment complex in Palm Springs. I'd prefer to live by the ocean, but it's the idea that grabbed me. It's what I've been talking about for some time now. Just leaving it all and reading and writing. I would so love to do that. But I need some financial stability, otherwise I'd stress too much to do it. The characters in the story take menial jobs bartending or working in the mall for cash; the rest of the time they can just "be."
But the key is to "be with people who wanted to do the same thing." I'd hope the people I was with weren't too pretentious.

I left NYC for this very reason--to escape the frenetic rat race and pressure of the big city. Sera always pointed out that I walked twice as fast in Manhattan as anywhere else. In all my life I'd never noticed that. I was just keeping up with the pace. It took an outsider to point this out. So we picked up and moved to sunny Florida--for a quieter, slower pace of life and better weather. It is all those things, but it's also the land of the zombie. Everyone's idea of quality of life is to have a nice house with a pool and stop there. Sure, I'd love a nice house. But why stop there? No one here has any dreams. No one says, "I'd love to travel," or even "I want to go hiking." Instead it's "I want to retile my bathroom."

I'm mocked at work because I go canoeing some weekends. Most people I work with have never been to the Everglades, gone on an airboat or done anything to explore the State of Florida. Sera and I have been doing that since we moved here.
"Why do you want to do that?" I'm asked when I discuss my latest adventure proposal. In the meantime these people are content to just sit on their patio and stare out at the highways and strip malls that are quickly taking over the natural beauty of this area.

Oh, and this reminds me. Our adventure to find Kira Salak in Key West this weekend has been cancelled. With my cat's illness(he's doing SOOOO much better, by the way), I just don't feel comfortable leaving him. There are vet techs available to stay at our place and administer his medicine, but I'm just not at that point. It will take a little more time to feel secure in leaving him.

But I am planning on returning to my novel this weekend. It's been a month since I've written in it. Was too depressed, then too exhausted. But I think I'm ready to pick it up again. Plus I think I came up with a good idea for the prologue.


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