Grass Angels

 

Ralph the Cherokee in Big Sur

I haven’t owned a car in four years. It’s a tough call because roller coasters make me vomit immediately, but I just might choose a roller coaster ride over sitting in the back of a sedan, grinding through a midday traffic jam.

Of course sometimes I use other people’s cars, and I take taxis and subways to get around. But now that I don’t drive very much, the whole activity strikes me as absurd. When I drive I just see dollars jumping out of my wallet and into the street gutters. Every minute that passes is another minute I’m still sitting hump backed in a too-small seat. My neck hurts and the air is stale and like a dog I’m just praying for a window to get cracked. The best case scenario is that I grin and bear the ride till it’s over. The worst case scenario is that we wreck, now I’m hurt and I’m stressed and somebody owes somebody money. When a friend asks, “Hey do you want to go hiking? It’s only a 45 minute drive to get there. Real sweet spot.” All I hear is, “hey let’s go sit in some incredibly uncomfortable chairs for 1.5 hours, and in the middle we can stop to stretch our legs.” God help me if someone forgets the AUX cord and we have to listen to FM radio the whole way.

What I’m saying is, it’s easy to take our routines for granted. It’s easy to assume that how we live is “normal”. Four years ago I owned a Jeep and I drove all the time and didn’t think twice about it.

Sleeping under the night sky does something to you. Just like working 10 hours a day does something to you. Working 0 hours a day does something to you. Wearing shoes. Seeing the ocean every morning. Drinking vodka. Smelling flowers. Living through a harsh winter or a mild summer. Singing or not singing. Hanging out with a shitty boss every day, or a shitty relative, or sitting next to an attractive Spanish man.

A lot of life is one big accident. But we assume the way things are is the way they have to be.

Everyone’s life is a Monopoly game. Sometimes we get so goddamned angry that we yell and throw the game board like a frisbee and in a rage we stuff all that stupid fake cash into the fire place. We completely forget that at any moment we could stand up, be alone, drink a milkshake while reading a book, lay down in the middle of the lawn and make a few grass angels.

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