I recently had someone claim that I desire the life of a pauper. Now, to be clear and put things into context I was relating my direction and attitude towards life in comparison to some of my role models, heroes, and influences on my self-concept. The miserable life-long rantings of Charles Bukowski gives me insight into how I can avoid a life of loathing. For example, one of his profound expressions that is a bit tamer talks about love…or something like it.
Of course it’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well. – Charles Bukowski
Or I look to Kurt Vonnegut Jr. for witty ways of being passively aggressive towards the mainstream society.
One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us. -Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
But back to the definition of pauper. According to Merriam-Webster:
1: a person destitute of means except such as are derived from charity; specifically : one who receives aid from funds designated for the poor
2: a very poor person
I would have to agree that while I am currently paying for school with student loans and collecting food assistance money from the State of Oregon due to being low income, that perhaps I am currently a pauper in that regard. However, my means to an end is the education and my desire to live simply and efficiently. I don’t have a fancy car, in fact I drive my moms car because I can’t afford one. —Will finish laterz
Laterz happens to have come some time later, as today is April 24th, 2017. I sit here in a project that I started a year ago. I bought this tiny mobile office on wheels with a rotting roof and aspirations of improvement, for the trailer and myself. In working through this project and isolating myself beyond a healthy amount of time, I find that I need very little to subsist, but I am heavily dependent on others. I am starting my garden, but don’t have anything I have grown to eat. I make solar power, but not nearly enough to satisfy my needs for cooking and entertainment. I have replaced the roof but still need to do finish work before I could consider taking this project on the road. I still don’t have a vehicle to tow the tiny house with, and even the car my mom has let me drive for the past several years is losing it’s clutch.
I fixed my bike the other day and rode some 20 miles to school, from past Eagle Point to downtown Medford, and then back out near Costco after getting out of class at 9PM. I wish I could say I did it for the love of riding, but the honest truth is that I’m out of gas, and out of change. But, those circumstance drove me to ride my bike a long distance after neglecting it for at least 4 months, and not riding seriously for probably a year or more. My sit bones hurt, but it was a satisfying experience to finish the maintenance I started months ago, and then ride like I never took a break. Well, kind of. I may or may not have been getting signals from my calves that this was not well thought out after only 4 miles. And my sit-bones were giving me so much negative feedback that I stood more than usual, but whatevs…I did it!
I guess what I’m articulating is that I don’t have money, I am not good at making money, and I am not good at managing money. Probably because I don’t really like money. Yes, I know it’s the only game in town but I don’t want to play this stupid game of acquisition and status due to accumulation of wealth. If that makes me a pauper, then I guess I’m a pauper. But I don’t suffer from my condition. I make due. I find a way. I would rather stress about things like food, energy, and transportation than focus on TV sit-coms or pick an expensive hobby to funnel my discontent into. When I want recreation, I head for the hills and let the natural world entertain me. I ride my bike, on the roads or in nature. I go on walks. I listen to music, or make art, or write poetry or read books I have received for free or I am borrowing from the library. If I get the itch to watch a current popular DVD movie I hit up the library for that too.
Just because I utilize the opportunities to embrace a different appreciation for my circumstances doesn’t mean I’m poor by any means. I am odd, that is for sure, but my wealth extends beyond monetary boundaries. You can’t buy what I have, regardless of resources at your fingertips. Hell, I can’t even quantify my wealth. I make it rain with creativity and wipe my bum with the paper we call dollars, and then I compost my poo so it isn’t waste any longer, it’s returned to a resource. It’s all perspective, and I waste not, want not, and do not want to participate in a fractured and oppressive system of global governance which has stemmed out of the global financial system.
Now remember, I am a cynic, so this must all be taken more lightly than I am presenting it. I go to deep dark places and yearn for a different life out of discontent and some level of judgement over the chosen way others live their lives. I am not making a better than, or lesser than judgement; rather, I am making a judgement to allow the arbitrary constructions of our society to hold no interest to me. Wow, that big-booty chick is dating that rapper but he is possibly abusive but she won’t leave him because they love each other…don’t really care. Or perhaps it isn’t that I don’t care, because domestic violence is a real world problem and it’s frustrating when role models and popular culture icons demonstrate behaviors typically reserved for the TV show Cops. I care, but I don’t care about the gossip of it. If the narrative wasn’t, “Oh my god, did you hear?”, instead if it were, “Oh my god. Is she ok? Did she seek help? Is there anyway I can help? How can we prevent things like this in the future?”, but its not that discussion.
Content content content. This pauper gets enough content in tangible information pertaining to real life scenarios in my life, not the lives of those people at the top of the list who are so separated from the reality that I know that we would be unlikely to ever come into contact. I do much better focusing on the here and now, and discussing the things I can make an influence on. Keep it classy and you do you, but don’t channel your own frustration through me, because I don’t need it. I’m a simplton in needs, and an aristocrat in adaptation. And if it comes down to it, I would argue that adaptation is a greater strength than needing more than the planet can possibly sustain 😉