“That’s your self-summary?”
“What’s wrong? You don’t like it?”
“Like it? What’s there to like?”
“Well, how about its geometry? Have you ever seen a self-summary so meticulously triangulated?”
“So, does that mean you wouldn’t respond to it?”
“Nope. But I might use it to replace the steps to the basement.”
“Hey, that’s a thought! Maybe I should draw a little character walking down my self-summary like a set of stairs!”
“I gotta go. You’re beyond hope.”
“Ok, then. Bye-bye…”
(After eyes had gone, pen lay quietly down upon the words so freshly written, and then began to cry.)
What I’m doing with my life:
Writing a book. Building a house. And otherwise exploring how best to live simply…in a sustainable, self-sufficient way.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food:
Books? Far too many to list. Ok, here’s one: Cider With Rosie (‘juicy’ from beginning to end). Well, maybe just one more: The Cosgrove Report (a masterfully written mystery).
Movies? Amadeus, All the Mornings of the World (Tous les matins du monde), Dancing With Wolves, The Gods Must Be Crazy, THX 1138, Sophie’s Choice, Babette’s Feast, Lonesome Dove, Cinema Paradiso, Shawshank Redemption, O Brother Where Art Thou, One-Eyed Jacks, A Man Called Horse, To Kill a Mocking Bird, All Creatures Great and Small (book and film series), Never Cry Wolf (and everything else written by Farley Mowat), Master and Commander, Pulp Fiction, Papillon, Forrest Gump, The Return of Martin Guerre, Braveheart…just to name a few that have ‘rung my bell’ in an unusual way.
Music? Renaissance, Baroque, Classical (e.g, Beethoven), and some early ‘Folk’ (Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel…)
Food: Beginning to grow my own (currently experimenting with areoponics). Keep goats for milk, yogurt and cheese. Ducks & geese for eggs (and background music). Sheep for wool. A German Shepard to help keep predators at bay. And a lazy cat with whom the field mice play.
The six things I could never do without:
That’s easy: Life, and the desire to explore it.
“Thats only two.”
“You’re suppose to name six.”
“Because that’s what you’ve been asked to do.”
“But those are the only things I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) live without. Of course technically I could get by without any desire to explore life. But then what would be the point?”
“The point is to give others an idea about the things in life that are very important to you.”
“I just did. I love it. It’s an incredible adventure, don’t you think?”
“Does that mean you can live without life?”
“No. Of course not. Don’t be silly. I just meant that I don’t find it all that interesting. In fact most of the time it’s pretty disappointing.”
“Well, in that case…since I’m required to come up with four more ‘indispensable’ things to share, what if I just give them to you instead? Maybe that would help put an end to your problem.”
“Maybe. It would depend on what they were.”
“Okay, how about these: a blindfold, a scaffold, about twelve feet of rope, and a book on tying knots.”
“Funny. Why don’t you just go screw yourself.”
“Hey! Watch your mouth!”
“Piss on you.”
“I mean it. You can’t use that kind of language here!”
“Oh yeah? You want to do something about it?”
Deciding it was pointless to continue this dialog, pen turned his back on eyes and began writing a response to the following question…
I spend a lot of time thinking about…
…sustainability. How to formulate (in a desirable way) the dramatic lifestyle changes that must be made with that end in view (e.g., Anticipatory vs Catastrophic Change).
The most private thing I’m willing to admit:
My “scientifically tested” personality type is: INFP (The Dreamer)
Ok, I guess that’s not much of an ‘admission.’ How about this instead (he says, with a gulp…and voice lowered to a whisper): In my mid-20’s I owned a small sawmill in Alaska, and I daily (and ruthlessly) made lumber from freshly downed trees.
“Oh my God! You did that? How could you?”
“Well, at the time I thought it was an honorable endeavor. How were people going to build their houses and apartment buildings otherwise? Were they supposed to use cardboard instead?”
“You idiot! Cardboard is also made from trees!”
“Then how about toilet paper? You could stack it up and put spring-loaded rods through the rolls to hold your walls in place.”
“Toilet paper? Don’t you know it comes from trees too…and every time you wipe your butt you’re contributing to the devastation of our forests!?”
[“And so the conversation slips, among the velleities and carefully caught regrets, mingled with remote violins and cracked coronets…” (From T.S. Eliot’s ‘Portrait of a Lady,’ in case you were wondering :) ]
I’m looking for…
another pen…one filled with scented ink, and an unfettered vision of life.
You should message me if…
you can’t resist. ;-)
* * *
A slightly different version of the above was originally posted on OkCupid a few years ago in a light-hearted attempt to stir some interest in a new website that was being developed specifically for Single Writers. While it generated a surprising number of very creative replies, none were as memorable as the following response from a 27 year old woman in Scotland:
I can’t begin to express my delight
in stepping down these words so
bright! And the next time I’m
in need of a snack I’ll be
sure to descend again
to sit upon your lap,
have another bite,
fill my diaper,