Living a life with no specific aim or end is like living in a constant state of blur. Days blur into nights. Dreams blur and eventually fade altogether. The future is literally the present because the future isn’t something you are moving toward but constantly living in. The concept of tomorrow is no different than today or even yesterday because each day is exactly the same. My life became nothing more than one continuous day. The only time something changed was when a package would arrive, a job would be done and a move made. Even though the monotony of living the same day continuously was a struggle, the days a job would pop up and break that seemingly endless loop weren’t welcome. Besides the obviously with respect to the job itself, I found that I grew accustomed to the routine of the endless and when that was challenged it threw my new equilibrium out of whack. More so, it reminded me why I was living the way I was and, well, for lack of any better explanation, it was total, utter shit.
To fight the anticipation I felt during the jobless days I took up the activity of vicarious living. To me, everyone became an adventurer, or a grizzled detective, or an alien living a secret existence among the humans. Every person has a story, but to me every person was a story. I wish I had taken the time to write some of them down because I felt maybe with the right brain behind it some of them would have made great characters for a movie or something. I did try it once but felt that it took away from the moment of living in that person’s shoes. It derailed the short burst of excitement. Plus, with my reality it was best not to have any physical luggage.
In the warmer weather one of my favourite places to “experience” others was down by the lake. There was always and eclectic mix of people. Joggers, dog walkers, regular walkers and always one or two of the city’s homeless, which I find I relate to more than anyone. While I have a roof above my head and money provided I can’t help but feel rootless and, in effect, homeless myself. It was when I had this realization that I started volunteering at shelters around the city. It was another level of vicarious living because each person had a real story. There was always a level of heartbreak to every one. My shelter days were some of my most cherished memories. Vince (not his real name) was a man who lived near one of my lakeside vantage points and we actually struck up somewhat of a friendship, though I tried to warn him off. He said my business was my business and his business was his business. We talked mostly about sports, weather, and politics and never asked each other questions outside of those realms. The little I gleaned from him was that at one point he was married. I never found out a name or current status but he always referred to his spouse in the past so I assumed that was where the marriage lived as well. After two weeks of meetings with Vince, I got a job and never returned to that part of the lakefront again. Reality, once again, the pin prick in the endless loop of my forced complacency.
Besides my vicarious living experiments I’ve spent a lot of time with books and movies. This was something I did before my life transition and I never really gave it any second thought. The knowledge I gained from anything I consumed was anecdotal, and would be great conversation topics. But what happens to knowledge that has no avenue to be shared? Is knowledge for knowledge sake really a goal unto itself? I have had casual conversations with people, like Vince for example, but nothing that really delved to the root of anything actually enlightening. I think that’s really what I’ve struggled with. Anything I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying has been an experience I have only been able to share with myself. Sometimes this is nice, but knowing that every experience must be solo is violently disheartening. I used to like to go to the AGO by myself and browse and I would also think how I want to bring you the next time I went or some future time. Knowing I can’t? Honestly? Rip my heart out.