I want to write about this friend of mine, and I am not worried about him reading what I write. I know he won’t ever read this because he doesn’t care about my blogs or blogging in general. I tried to get him into blogging, but he is just not into it. To any observer, it would seem like he is not really into much of anything. He’s my best friend from my Florida days, and he’s kind of a guru figure to me too. I will refer to him as Mike …because that is in fact his name …and he’ll never read this.
I worry about Mike. He sits in his apartment alone every night. When I talk to him on the phone, I worry that he’s getting too far into his own head. He doesn’t seem connected with my particular brand of reality or anybody’s I have ever heard of. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but he tends to isolate himself. He had a pretty bad back injury a while back, and so he’s not really into fitness stuff or outdoorsy active stuff. He does go for walks though, so that’s good.
I learned a lot from him. He’s a spiritual seeker big time. I learned the names of some good writers and orators and spiritual teachers. Mike is always sending me a link to a YouTube video and exclaiming about it. He would talk me to death about the ego and the ‘I’ and unity and non-duality and all kinds of stuff. He talked me to death, but a lot of it sank in. If I said I was worried, he would tell me to ask myself: Who is it that’s worried? Who is this ‘I’ that is worried? Who is the ‘I?” And when you start asking who am I? Who am I? Who am I – really? –The layers start to peel back. The layers of bullshit, I mean. I’m not this. I’m not that. You start figuring out a lot of stuff that you are not – you thought that you were that, but you’re not. You’re not this set of stories that you typically use to identify yourself. When you peel back all those layers, you get to the point where you don’t really give much of a shit…which is right up my alley, not giving a shit.
I lived an hour away from Mike when I lived in Florida. I would go stay at his place over the weekend, or he’d stay at mine. He lives in the freakin sticks. I mean – there ain’t much out there except orange groves and limestone quarries. He lives in a half-bankrupt golf and tennis resort. The tennis courts are all grown over with weeds. People still use the golf course though. Mike doesn’t golf because of his back. Sometimes though, we would go on these crazy walks in the middle of the night on the golf course. One time we were walking by these huge sprinklers, and those bitches kicked on and we had to haul ass. We were always having goofy non-dangerous adventures like that.
Anyway, nowadays, he doesn’t go out – except to go to work. He just sits at home and watches his spiritual videos. It reminds me a little of my mom, sitting in her room day and night, listening to religious radio…doing not much else.
I search google maps for stuff I can suggest to him to do, around where he lives.
Hey, did you know about this art museum 30 minutes from you?
Hey, there’s a UU Church 45 minutes away.
Hey, you ever go in this little bar around the corner from you?
I’ll have to check that out, he says. But, he doesn’t. He’s content just hanging at his apartment…watchin his videos. I guess he’s okay. Who knows?
Really: Who is it that knows?