My favorite scene from "Forest Gump" is when Forest hits a rough spot in the road of life and does what most of us would like to do--he starts running. And he doesn't stop--for years. He runs to one end of the country and then turns around and runs to the other end. And while he's running from whatever, life is going on and dude is getting scruffier.
Who hasn't felt like doing that at least once or twice in their life? Run away from it all, I mean--not the physical running part. I don't like to run anywhere, not even the mailbox anymore, so I doubt I'd make it to either coast. I just want to run away from everyone and everything that is my life at that moment.
I'm not sure running is quite the answer when things get hairy, but I sure am tempted when things at home or in my life get a little jumbled and hard to deal with. It's a dream of mine to just pack a duffle bag with a few things and head two blocks over where we have one of those Bus-to-the-Airport terminals. Escape would be quick, easy, and painless--I could even come up with a new name for myself in the two-block walk that it takes to get me to that bus.
When my dear pally, Petula, was going through a rough patch earlier this year, I told her of my plan and offered to take her with me. "We're gonna live like hobos," I tell her, "living off the land, traveling free and far." Needless to say, the lure of the road, beans out of a can, and one of those sticks with the kerchief on the end was a little more than enticing. "I'm IN!" was the reply. And so our dream of escaping has begun.
So, although we haven't quite packed the kerchief just yet, we have it stuck in our back pockets, waiting for just the right moment when we snap and cannot take one minute more of the lives we live. And somehow it makes it all a bit easier to bear knowing that we can ditch those family members who endlessly want from us, run away from the broken washing machine that refuses to drain, escape the mound of paperwork and chores that never seem to end. And when the pocket contains nothing more than lint, we can ride the rails and live like hobos--camping out under the stars, eating at the Dumpster Diner, and commiserating our lives with the likes of Trainwreck Willy or Choo Choo Charlie.
Okay, so don't go bummin' me out with warnings like "they're called homeless people now" or "you could get raped and killed" or "your family will find you" or even "you can get worms from eating out of a can"--that's just bursting the bubble. It's a dream, pallies, a dream. And when things are going horribly awry in my life, which they do sometimes, I have my pally, Petula, and my stick with the kerchief in my heart knowing that I have options--there is an escape hatch. It's a comforting feeling.
Happy weekend, pallies. May your time be spent off the clock, away from electronics, and doing the important things like examining the back of your eyelids or contemplating your navel. Remember to breathe deep and pack your own imaginary kerchief. Peace in your mind is vital for your survival.
And while you are at it, work on your hobo name.