Wealth and fame? I sought them in my own simple way, but not for their own sake; I was willing to be rich and famous if it meant earning a living. And as I have neither, it’s useless to say or to guess what I’d do if I did. I’m also fairly sure I once feared them, which is another way of saying I once feared myself, which is another way of saying I lacked a clear understanding of what it means to live in this world. I have no trouble admitting it. Doing so doesn’t embarrass me. I take no pride in it, either. It simply is what it is. That said, I am still willing — just as I’m willing to remain anonymous, or to be as anonymous as anyone can be in this strange day and age, and to face whatever material challenges such anonymity may bestow. Food, shelter, safety, warmth — I have them for now, and they are all I need. And yet the reality is, the next time I’m in the grocery store, I might be shot down by a misguided fool who thinks he’s protecting his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Or I might be arrested and spirited away in the night for stating in print that I don’t believe in religion, flags, and borders. Harmless and gray as I am, it could happen. Two or three years ago, someone I’ve known for twenty-five years said that the last thing he wants is to stand out in any way. The current social climate has made him that wary. It’s something to think about. The difference is, he’s a retired accountant, and I’m a working writer who publishes daily online. That’s also something to think about, along with the fact that I will someday die, leaving who knows what, how much, how little, behind.
full of snow
Recently Banned Literature, December 13, 2013