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And then I went a little bit crazy.

The trip to Portugal gave me a bad case of wanderlust. Even before I got back to my cubicle under the fluorescent lights of the office tower downtown, I started plotting my escape.

With Y2K and the end of the world bearing down, suddenly I had the urge to taste and touch / and to feel as much as a man can, before the world collapsed in a Y2K apocalypse.

From the perspective of the outside world, I went a little crazy. I ditched the ties, quit my job, sold the car, grew a beard, let my hair flow, donned a kaftan and found myself wandering through the desert in Cairo (among other places).

I went through a Jesus phase, and thought deeply about what it means to die in order that you may live again, as I retraced his steps on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.

I was reminded of all of this the other day at Bukowski's by the quote on the menu, over an afternoon beer as I pondered another such discontinuity in my life:

Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live.

People talk a lot about freedom, but most people have never truly been free, and wouldn't know what to do with it if they had it. Those few years wandering were the longest stretch of unstructured freedom I had since entering Kindergarten, 25 years prior.

Of course, when the world didn't end, I had to go back and get a job. But the old me was dead. There was no going back. I was transformed.

Life is too short to waste in a place you don't like, or a job you hate, or in any other way you may find yourself cowed by fear. Follow your bliss, and go slay some dragons, even if you have to go a little crazy to do it.


A B O V E . A L L - E N J O Y !

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Michael Nystrom's picture

That is one of my favorite books


Not to mention an incredible movie. As I recall, there is absolutely no talking in the second half of the film.

Thanks for the reminder, Davy!

Mine too

I was lucky enough to have met and interviewed Bowles during one of my stays in Tangier. He was bedridden at the time (a couple years before he died), but still he was as sharp as could be. His hearing was going too, so I had to ask my questions practically in his ear. I remember going into his apartment and the first thing I saw was the famous stack of luggage he'd dragged around the world. His short stories are amazing too, and I also love his novel, Let It Come Down. I had a feeling you might be a Bowles reader.

Past is present/prologue

All the best, Michael. You're an (intelligent) artist. And so can manage very well. And should stay in touch with DPers. Happy belated 7th anniversary. Good you fun 'costumed' that way back in pre Y2k since today someone dressed like that might be detained from boarding a plane whither thou goest?!

Good read, +1

Your post grabbed my attention because I was up walking around at 3am last night thinking about the same thing...I used to travel a lot, and lived on the road for a long time. Might do it again soon.

A signature used to be here!

That picture of you

has way too much ceiling and not enough guru. :P That is a fabulous picture of you.

Thanks for the encouragement but we're all stocked up here! ;)


Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

wolfe's picture


I frequently say lol or roflmao with a completely straight face... But this Jack clip in context, had me rolling, literally...

Yeah, we are all stocked up... :)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Being a retiree

As a Electrician. When feeling low or thinking negative. Lost thoughts, crazy thinking or stop paying attention when working .I would find myself getting shocked when doing my job. Being a electrician will make you stay focused. Or you might take a long dirt nap. Retired in the hills of Tennessee this summer. Next summer. Maybe unretired working at a coffee plantation in Kauai as a maintenance person. Wife seems to like that idea too of working there.

Money talks and dogs bark

wolfe's picture


Nice post.

It tempted me, for the first time in however many years I have been here to publicly state my name, travels, and my own similar experiences.

Briefly. I am still too much of a privacy nutcase to do that.

I have always had wanderlust, and wish I had some of the opportunities you did, and I am working on correcting that.

But experiences don't always require travel. So I fulfilled a few childhood dreams as well. Like doing stand up comedy, performing in a number of venues including the Improv. Deciding to write a book (that I never finished). And a few other more personal goals... :)

Edit: Awesome Jesus pic... Maybe there is something to us being a cult, and you being our leader... lol. Just kidding of course.

Btw, I had my crazy moment while here on the DP. I went off the deep end about 5-6 years back. I lost everything, again. But this time, I had a lot to lose. Including my girlfriend of 8 years. I went a little nuts. I became unstable and walked away from everything. I am just now rejoining society as a "normal" person, but as you said, forever changed.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Wow. My travel resume pales

Wow. My travel resume pales vs yours and I've always reconstructed jobs I've hated rather than up-and-leaving them. And now you're transplanting to the left coast while I've left New England too infrequently. Two types of wanderlust and bravery I have not flexed. Intriguing.

10-15 million more voters need to believe in non-interventionism (liberty) at home and abroad to change America. Minds changed on Syria. Minds changing on privacy. "Printing money" is part of the dialogue. Win minds through focus, strategy.

I like it.

Put priorities first.

"To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

ecorob's picture

This is the Michael...

I know and love.

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.