I want to share with you my fantasy. In this little idealized version of my future, I’ve written mymasterpiece. I have a decent amount of money, just enough so that I don’t have to worry about how I will live very modestly for the rest of my life so long as I work a little bit here and there. I live in a very small split-level house with lots of sunshine in a place that is usually moderately cool but never bitterly cold. It rains on occasion, usually a gentle drizzle and maybe a nice thunderstorm or two in the summertime. The supermarket (which has a very decent butcher and delicatessen counter) is a short walk away, there is a little green park nearby where children play. The neighbors are warm and congenial, quiet and respectful. And most importantly, I am detached from the world I live in. I have become, for the most part, a recluse observing suburban tranquility at arm’s length.
Mr. J.D. Salinger died a recluse. Only God knows why he decided to exclude himself from society: the rest of us can only guess. But I know why I would want to.You see, I’ve just about had enough of people and society. Everything just feels wrong. The rich get richer, and we have this condition called middle-class poverty. The educational system has become a travesty, no longer even worthy of being called a system in which one becomes educated. Ignorance and hate pervade society. People turn their backs on each other in times of need. Dishonesty, infidelity, debauchery, and selfishness is no longer a shock; in fact, one should expect as such. People are slaves to the dollar. Men abandon their bastard children, women cuckold their husbands, children lose their innocence before they should… And don’t even get me started on the realm of dating and marriage.The world no longerhasany love or romance. It has become (or perhaps always was) a cold and impersonal place, a system where the ruthless succeed through rampant self-promotion and selfish acts. As far as mankind seems to have advanced, we seem to have lost touch with what it means to be human. What good is it that we can live until we are 90 if we must spend that time on this earth? Why would I want to spend my entire life in a world where the good and just are punished and the dastardly reign freely? Where is the pleasure in living in a place where instead of love and happiness illuminates all, darkness prevails with only brief punctuations of light?
I cannot create my own nation. And I cannot wipe the slate clean with a flood of the earth. Nor can I cure the maladies of society. I do not wish to be a participant in this sort of world. And though I have strong desires to have children, to believe that I could raise them to be strong enough to resist the influence of this world that I so desperately despise would be entirely foolish. As out of touch with reality as I may be, as disillusioned as I certainly am, a fool I am not. The only course of action left to me would be to remove myself from society; to take solace in what little pleasures I can still find while surrounded by the dreariness of a hopeless humanity.
Alas, this is but a mere flight of fancy…unless it becomes reality, I will have no choice but to continue to participate as a member of society. I will have to, until my very last breath, suffer the idiocy of the insipid and the folly of fools. Perhaps I will have to simply turn my despair into an amusement of the dismal destinies that people carve out for themselves. All I know is that I had better get to work on my novel if I wish to stand a chance against all that ails me.
Thanks to Eastop for his photo: I used it as the thumbnail for the featured gallery.