I used to really love tv, books, movies – any media that was based upon story-telling. And often in these media people who lived reclusive lives were hiding or running from something. I don’t find that to be the case. I spent years living in the city, spending hours in my car heading into rural areas for camping. I would sit in my high-rise apartment watching or reading stories about people living off the grid.
It was always a romantic notion – being away from everything. No pointless happy hours. No throwing rent money at an incompetent landlord. No avoiding eye contact with creeps on the train. No more $13 cocktails and $8 beers. No more house plants when what I want is a garden. No more house cats in place of goats. The simple life is not a surrender, it’s a choice.
I wanted to clear that up before you continue reading and understand me to be a hermit recluse running away from humanity – a damaged war vet who can’t take modern life – a kook like the Beales living in a condemned mansion surrounded by cats – I’m not shell-shocked, Lieutenant Dan’d, or a loose cannon. This isn’t my alternative to homelessness. I’m not a waiting room staple at the VA. And my time in the war is not the most important time in my life and it did not define the rest of it.