Back to Basics

by Nic Olson

Back to the basement of perpetual self-inflicted hunger. Back to the basement of crusty Daddy-Long-Legs decorating the latticed ceiling and once white-washed walls. After five months of theft (that is what it essentially was) I am leaving the comfortable confines of my parents’ home and have moved back into the grunge and the shadows that complement me so well. I am willingly moving from a home with unlimited quantities of food, like the aisle in the heavenly supermarket that is lined with every food that you love, to a home where I purchase my own goods, and where my meals will not stray far from the staples of oatmeal, sandwiches and rice (also, coincidentally, three meals I have taught myself to love).

After somewhat successfully living on my own for two years, moving back in with the parents was a new level of pathetic that I hope to never repeat. The only complaints I have against my parents is that they cooked too much for me, didn’t get on my case enough and let me drive their cars when I wanted to. I need limits that I can break and gates that I can explode out of. I need to struggle like the settlers of our great nation, finding out ways to survive on my own, killing animals for food and growing my own vegetables. I need to be beaten down. Now, a different kind of pathetic defines me, one of choice and purpose. I will be pathetic my whole life, that is inevitable, but I must be pathetic on my own terms.

The simpleness of human beings is almost embarrassing. How sunlight and warmth bring out pleasant moods, how change of scenery can be reviving, how new opportunities bring a feeling of success, how relationships weigh so heavily. Even when I think I’ve got it figured out; that I can control myself to the point of being able to avoid being affected by outside stimuli, a brick wall of sorts, I am quickly humbled. How we claim to be far greater than other animals, who simply respond to their surroundings to survive, I don’t understand. Anatomically coldblooded human beings.

So in this time of change, seasonally and personally, renewal and refreshment is a choice. That, and being able to walk without crutches.

Back to simplicity and semi-poverty and basement-humid fungi and curtains for doors and sleeping on the floor. It feels right.