It's June 1st and I'm sitting outside working on my tan blissfully removed from all human contact. I cannot hear anything, no conversations or cars. No beeps or rings from anything. No motorized gardening tools. Just the bugs and the breeze. My friend's West Virginia farm (where I happen to be) is like the Garden of Eden, not for years have I had this much solitude and peace. But if I'm in heaven, then why do I feel so bad?
My only link to the outside, the Sunday Washington Post, sits at my feet reminding me of The Rest of The World. This, I think, is the biggest social network in these parts. What do all the people around here actually do for fun? Hunt? Barbecue? Drink beer on their front porches? Drive trucks? Is that culture? I resumed tanning.
Earlier, grocery shopping at the nearest market 20 minutes away, I have never in my life seen so many pork products. I had no idea you could buy bacon in 20 lb cases. There are foam containers holding little cakes of made of port fat and god only knows what. I think it's called scrapple? There were more varieties of Kool-Aide than there were vegetables. The most nutritious thing they sold was the Post. I am only two hours outside of the Capital of the Free World, I thought. Why can't people eat real food here? You don't see Italians 2 hours outside of Rome eating complete crap!
Back to tanning with Washington Post in hand. My mind keeps jumping from reality to the now and back. I start making a to-do list in my mind, then I remind myself that I'm trying to relax. It's the beginning of Summer, I have everything and nothing to do. I think about living out here in the relaxing peacefulness all summer long. I could get really tan! I think, and paint a lot! A hermit artist living in the country (eating pork). It feels really good to be so removed from the world, but I miss people. I wonder how many West Virginians Twitter? What would their status messages be? "Lee Roi is loving a cold one on the stoop." Then I think back to my to-dos, more like wants, ambitions and I start to feel bad... bad about my lack of accomplishment. Whats the point in drawing pictures if I have nobody to share it with? Who around here would I even want to appreciate my tan? There's no social inspiration in West Virginia and I guess that's the point. All or nothing. If there were, then this would be like Napa Valley and I'd be paying for peace. I'd only be able to afford a couple of nights of it. It would be a bad good feeling, instead of a good bad one. I could stay here, I thought, but I'm not ready for it. I'd need a broadband internet connection first.