In the Desert, Ch. V
If you have yet to regale yourself with the follies of Twerksgiving, read it here:
It’s been a while since I wrote Ch. IV, I know. I’m sorry, you deserve better. There is a good reason for that however- I am no longer in the desert. Okay, come on. Try not to gasp like that, it’s unbecoming.
*Cue flashback music and fade effect.*
It was a dark and stormy night. Oh wait, we didn’t flash back far enough…
*Re-cue flashback music and fade effect.
It was a dark but completely unstormy night. That’s how they get you, you know. Anyway, I, in my cap, had just settled my brains for a long winter’s nap, and nap I did. Several hours later, outside my tent there arose such a clatter I attempted to spring from my sleeping bag (but failed because I was stuck in it) to see what was the matter. When what, to my wondering eyes should appear, but the damn stupid wind that took the life of my first tent. Merry Christmas indeed, but it seemed I was the filthy animal.
With the god of the wind having returned for his yuletide sacrifice, I thought to myself, “This sure blows.” Apparently, in the midst of the gale, my roof had somehow broken halfway. This left the big vent in the ceiling completely uncovered, so when it started to rain, I was exposed. Surely this must be some form of divine retribution for monotheistisizing a pagan holiday, I figured, as I sat helpless, a victim of the elements.
Fortunately, I was working overtime that day, so I decided to forgo the extra hour of sleep and just head in to work. With my second tent alive, but just barely, I headed down the ruddy, muddy dirt hill, dampened in body and spirit.
At work, the coincidence of all coincidences presented itself to me: one of my coworkers was renting out a room. Sakes alive! This truly was a Christmas miracle. He said he had to ask his other roommate if it would be okay, and it turned out that his other roommate was a friend of mine who worked on my shift. The coincidences kept on rolling. Take that, Zeus.
With that, I was out of the desert.
So what did I learn?
The interesting thing, and you may find this hard to believe, is that I miss living in the tent. At least, I thought it was that for the first two weeks. To be honest, I was kind of depressed because I missed the excitement of surviving and having good material to write about handed to me. I also kept a much better routine when it was just me that I had to deal with.
What I realized, however, is that it’s not the camping itself that I miss, it’s living by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I could not have gotten luckier with the situation I landed in: my roommates are both great, and they both work where I work so we can carpool. It’s excellent. However, part of the reason I moved out here in the first place was to live by myself for the first time in my life, and I had that for the month of November. It was, without exaggeration, the best month of my life.
There’s a quote from a Buddhist monk (whose name escapes me) that I’m very fond of that goes something like, “Enlightenment is found not in the monastery but in the marketplace.” This, above many other ideas, has always stood out to me. What this means, more or less, is that while one can isolate themselves in an environment that is peaceful and easy, one actually needs the challenge of the chaotic, uncontrolled environment to truly grow. It took a while for me to accept this, as it usually does, but this is what helped me to accept that my current situation is actually ideal, even though it’s not what I wanted.
If I had been offered a room to rent the day before, I would have said no. I was still loving it, but the storm managed to weaken my resolve just the right amount to make me willing to do what was ultimately the right thing. Such is the pull of the Great Magnet.
The interesting thing is that my roommates are business partners. For those of you who don’t know, last year I and my roommate were business partners, and over the course of the business I got front row seats to the slow death of a great friendship, for which I am most certainly at least equally responsible. However, with this new living situation, it seems that I have been given the opportunity to (hopefully) prevent a similar tragedy, and for that I feel fortunate. Say what you will about karma, but she’s nothing if not fair.
So this is the end of the series for now. I may yet be back in the desert when the snows melt; only time will tell. It’s been a hell of a ride, and here’s to a new year of MasterSelf!
Happy Holidays*, and thanks for coming along with me!
(*Except whatever holiday celebrates the god of the wind. That guy is a dick.)