Saturday, March 16, 2013

Man in Wilderness

I knew a guy who got so sick of other humans that he finally moved to a remote area in British Columbia with his dog Sparks.  He set up camp and lived off the land.  The wilderness can be a forbidding place for anyone, especially those of us who need our creature comforts and precious electronic devices.  This guy was as hardy as they come, well versed in the art and science of survival.  Nonetheless, while he found himself staving off hunger from time to time, and warding off bears and wolves almost always, his biggest struggle was with loneliness.  So he invented imaginary people to keep him company during long nights around the campfire.  He gave them weird names like Dodge, Shenandoah, and Earl.   Oh, but there was a female in the bunch as well.  Her name was Sheila, a chestnut-haired beauty from Kansas, and her inventor savored moments with her (and his canine friend) under the stars.  He imagined her sweet face and amber lips in the moonlight, tucked inside a hooded woolen jacket, as he ruminated on the meaning of life.  A year or so passed and our wilderness man became perturbed, though this state of mind had nothing to do with the daily struggle for food or the threat of predatory animals.  No, he had grown used to this rugged lifestyle.  What perturbed him were his make-believe friends, as they had become more numerous and quite loquacious.  All they seemed to do was bitch and moan.  They'd complain about his unkempt facial hair or the mess he'd leave around the camp.  One of them, a vegetarian named Joel, gave him a hard time about his "murderous diet of meat."  So the guy moved back to the city and currently lives with his wife Sheila (so to speak) and dog in a van off 43rd Street.