In my day dreams sometimes I crash-land on a desert island with the people I work with and somehow we all survive it.
I watch everything unfold in my head, the initial shock of the crash slowly being replaced by child-like wonder as we take in everything around us and start exploring the island and building shelters and forming friendships based not on some manufactured hierarchy, but rather who can actually protect and lead everyone.
Sooner or later though people would start to argue and get bitchy about who gets to boss who around because we’d be getting hungrier and wilder with each passing day.
I think at that point I’d probably strike out, fashion some kind of weapons and go hunt for weeks on end, picking my way through the jungle, learning how to move without sound, learning how to track animals, learning their patterns.
I’d get dirty and cut and scratched and bitten. My hair and beard and nails would all grow and I’d shed weight until my ribs stuck out like xylophone keys and I could put my hands around my waist and nearly touch my fingers together.
At night I’d burrow into the forest floor and cover myself with earth and leaves and lie there, humming half-remembered songs and having long and intense conversations with no one in a language that only vaguely resembled English.
Nothing would matter anymore except food and water. Those two things would consume my every waking thought and the status reports and brainstorming sessions and seminars and client expectations that used to guide and govern me would fall away completely and be replaced by the stark and terrifying reality that I was finally in control of my life.
Ironically I’d probably wish for my old life back. That’s the funny thing about humans, we are totally incapable of handling the freedom we are given. We design all kinds of social structures and institutions to get rid of that freedom at all costs and then complain that our lives feel controlled and dogmatic.
I’m not sure how the day dream ends. Maybe I eventually do kill something and I take it back to share it with everyone back at the shelters and they welcome me back like a returning hero.
Maybe it goes the other way and I stay in the jungle for a good, long while, trying my damndest to forget everything about my life and letting my mind unravel completely until I become nothing more than a drooling animal, ruled completely by instinct and base desire.
I guess it all depends on whether or not I can get over whatever it is that’s dragging me into the jungle and actually start writing worth a damn again.
Easier said than done…