Thursday, August 26, 2010

RV Alone Yet?

These places can cost you a fortune...

"No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you find
You get what you need."

--Rolling Stones

I've been a loner all my life.  I do not brag.  I consider it an affliction, and would start up a chapter of Loners Anonymous, if I thought anybody would show up.

No offence intended.  I like you just fine.  It's all those other people.

I do get crowded easily.  Like in grocery checkout lines.  It's a kind of mental pressure, a sort of high internal heebie jeebie.  I guess that's really what I have against Television.  It's not just the lack of quality, though there is that.  Nor the incessant vapid insulting commercials.  The real problem is that having a TV on is like having an instant crowd right there with you.  Too many voices.  It's bad enough just with the ones I can't turn off.

 I am pretty much already a crowd of one.  I can't spare the room.

O, I enjoy the company of people well enough one or two at a time, in conversation, or over a beer.  Three is kinda iffy.  Half a dozen and I tend to bolt.

Bolting is another name for RVing.  You spend enough money to do this stuff, and you somehow pass from being crazy to merely eccentric.  This enterprise gives license to us misanthropes to be ourselves.  I am sure that when I started out, I had grand ideas about "independence" and "freedom" and "finding the inner Bob".

Bullshit.  It's just bolting.

Yesterday, on the way back from biking the High Road to Taos, near Espanola, in splendid isolation, I had the bright idea that the Oh-Kay Casino would almost certainly have internet access for their patrons.  Just inside the door I abruptly encountered a vivid vision of Hell:  hundreds of people, circling the slots as though going round the Black Stone of Mecca, lined up 6 deep at the ATM machines, eyes absent, slump shouldered, evasive, either lost in dreams or afraid to be recognized.

They were actually LINING UP to give away their money. These people didn't need Access.  They needed Escape!

Have you ever suddenly happened on something that made you physically levitate, as though magnetically repelled or bouncing off an invisible barrier?  That was me, repelled before I actually even understood what I was seeing.  I just knew there were TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM.

So I adopted the backwards facing motorcycle posture, and used the pillion seat of the Kawasaki as a desk for the Mini-me, my netbook.  And sure enough, they didn't have free internet.  So the place was Hell without benefit of Purgatory.  The pure thing.  Dante would be proud.

I know, I know.  "Such a kidder, always complaining."  After all, being alone has objective benefits.  I'm sure I'll think of one in a minute.  O, ya, it's "empowering".  It "lifts you out of the day to day", and "lets you see the essentials of life."

But it's not a matter of profit and loss.  There is no balance sheet.

I am reminded of a fan who asked Steven King why he only wrote horror stories.  He just looked at her and said, "What makes you think I have a choice?".

There you go.  I RV alone, and seem to be fairly happy doing so.  This is my life.  I got what I wanted, and it ain't so bad.  It's a socially acceptable, even admired way to get the hell away from people.  And there are many days I can actually hear myself thinking.

Or someone thinking.  The voices in my head are a varied lot, and most usually seem to wish me well.  They ought to like the hell out of me, what with the cheap rent and all.  So on those evenings, like this one, when I get a little too satisfied with things as they are, me and the Daze and the road ahead, they often supply a sly rejoinder.

"Psst!  Hey, Slacker!  That's right, you, Genius!  Have you ever considered that all this hard won heroic isolation may be one of those games where only the winners can lose?  And that real success is a graceful failure?  Just a thought.  Have a nice day."

If you see me somewhere along the road, don't hesitate to knock.  I could probably use the company.  And I am likely to be there, even if I don't answer right away.

You see, a traveler is always at home.



eskimoblueboy said...

I like 'a traveler is always at home'. Cool.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,
I sure do enjoy reading about your travels. Fascinating. From the Lazy Daze details, to the lovely camping site and the introspection, it's all a treat.
You were right get the heck out of TX - 107 last week. Now 95 feels cool.
Safe travels,

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bob,

I first found "Speed Bumps" by lurking through the comments on Jennifer's site, so I was really glad when the link to your new site appeared on her page.

I just have to comment on the "loner" bit. One of the funniest pick-up lines I ever received was in response to my telling some guy that I was a loner. He replied, "Hey! I'm a loner too! We can be loners together!"

Somehow , I don't think he got it. ;-)

Love the stories! Glad to see you are on the road again...

Suzanne -- Atlanta

Anonymous said...

ahh, someone else who is one with one's self.

-Dr. Pangloss

Bob Giddings said...

Hey, Suzanne,

That sounds like something I might have said, in answer to such a rebuff. He probably got it, he just didn't want it. So in lieu of success, he just attempted to keep up the conversation with a bit of humor. I can relate.

But then, as you may have noticed, I'm a guy. It's tricky, being a guy. You never know exactly where you stand. That is, until you get old. Then you just assume the worst. :o)