I Can’t Sit Still

You may have surmised, dear readers, that your favourite dilettante does not stay in one place for very long. It’s true, darlings, I am strangely and unapologetically nomadic, and yet, as I add more days, months and years to my repertoire (a nice way of saying as I get older, darlings) I find that I am growing roots, and that having to be transplanted, to complete the botanical metaphor, is uncomfortable and exhausting.

And now I find myself in a strange new place yet again, and I find that I can’t sit still — I constantly want to just get in my car and drive until the gas gauge points to E, and then fill up and do it again and again until my bank account points to E.

This is the type of self-destructive behaviour I might have engaged in when I was younger and not afraid of anything (see: Cheyenne Wyoming and the Accidental Plagiarist), but ever since my sister and her husband died, I’ve been living in the same place, wearing the same face, and settling into a life that fits like I never would have imagined, and there is a fear of losing all of that.

And so I settle in, and I worry that I am not just settling in, but that I am carving out a hole; that I am retreating into a cave, never to re-emerge. One day, future archaeologists will find me, buried in my books, clutching a faded copy of Fahrenheit 451 to my skeletal chest, and have no idea who I was or why I wasn’t out in the world living la vida loca.

It’s taken me long enough to figure this out, but I don’t think that I like being a responsible adult very much. I still have things that I want to do, but no time or energy right now with which to do them. My feet want to wander, but I’m too tired to go. I’m weary and restless at the same time, and it’s like being tugged at in two directions at once.

As Thomas Hobbes, English political philosopher said in his 1651 book Leviathian, the defining treatise on social contract theory: “Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things, darlings.”

Well, it was either him or that famous Dagobah resident Master Yoda, purveyor of other such gems of wisdom as “Do or do not; there is no try”, and “If a beautiful body I said you have, hold it against me, would you?” (It’s in one of the Special Editions’ deleted scenes I think.)

I must not be a Jedi, then, because I crave adventure and excitement, though I believe that my definition of such things has changed — I no longer crave chaos and uncertainty — I’ve had enough of that for three lifetimes. (And some even recently — dear god, have I not finished the tale of my ill-conceived impromtu return to Arcadia? It’s on my to do list, darlings — and don’t worry, it’ll all work better when it’s eventually collected.)

No — no chaos for me, thanks. I’ll take a nice hike in the hills along the Niagara Escarpment, which is as close to a mountain as I’m going to find around here. The weather’s still nice enough, and it’s not like I’m going anywhere else anytime soon.

But enough about me, darlings? What have you been up to?


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