January 25, 2016: On Becoming Weird

How did I get this way the opossum asked? The crab said there was no reason to ask, it was just that way. The biped said it was God’s will, but it was up to us, though environs had a hand. The mockingbird had a field day, while the shark circled. Hoo-nōs

I was truck camping in the desert, looking scruffy I suppose, though I didn’t think about it at the time. I ran across a couple—they seemed to look at me like they should keep their distance—who talked briefly about a German fellow who had motored right passed them.

When I saw the fellow, we began talking, though he was also clearly keeping his distance. I was thrown off by his accent, but mostly by the couple’s notion he was German—though that’s likely an excuse for my own inattention. As it all seemed friendly, though weirdly distant, I decided to ask him about his accent. Was I smart enough to ask generally—as in where he was from? Nope. I asked if he was German. He answered, kindly, that he was French. I apologized for being a dunce. He replied, kindly, that the two countries were close in proximity. I asked what he did. He said he worked on satellites and was in the country for the Space X program. Related to the recent toppling over of the rocket after it nearly made a successful landing, I inquired? He said yes. I said something about him literally being a rocket scientist. He said, kindly, that no, he worked on satellites.

On the way back to my campsite, I ruminated not only about what a dunce I’d been (no offense to dunces), but realized how I actually looked—and must have seemed like to others. That was not a good vision, like I had somehow taken a weird turn and become an eccentric desert rat (I certainly looked the part—no offense to desert rats) that folks would perhaps be kind to, while keeping their distance and having a story about weirdos in the California desert who were, at best, just a bit off.

I have no way to argue the point in time. On occasion, in frozen moments in time, we are held to by others and by ourselves, that which we seem to represent, but which we might not actually be. Is that opossum or that crab or that mockingbird or that shark—or a desert rat or those deciding such things (including me)—really getting to the bottom of things or are we merely telling stories and calling them insights?

I dunno, but I’m likely going back into the desert next week after taking care of my city-rat duties…

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