Christopher McCandless was right: a career is a 20th century invention. Meant to settle the individual, make us part of the industrial process. Make us think that there is only way to exist in the world, with only one personality, one character, one existence, one job. But in reality, there is no reality. Only perception. And not one perception, but many. We all go into the world to see not only its cities, its towns, its streets and people, but also ourselves.
Immigrants, exiles, expats. Words to describe otherness, in opposition to the self.
While Mr. White was alive, I was an American expat living in America. How could I be an expat in my own country, you wonder? Why not? Aren't you? Is this country really yours? It sure isn't mine.
Boundaries are closing in all around me. Manmade boundaries that separate one city from another, one state from another, one country from another. We live in a nation, which like all nations, is an archaic invention, a fiction made up a couple of centuries ago. A nation is there to convince us that we, the people, are different from one another as a result of space. Space, a euphemism for culture, dominates a world where space is the reason for war.
"The are different," "they're not like us," politicians tell us. Politicians, who are funded and sponsored by corporations, tell us that their funding is not corruption, but we know better. At least, we used to. What I also know, like you know, that it's not "those" people, with their strange foods, songs, and religions, who are different. No. It is the others who are: the ones who we have "elected," the ones who divide us from ourselves, the ones who we think are our friends.
After Mr. White's death, in addition to being an expat, I decided to become an exile. I drank a glass of sunlight, for there wasn't much of it where I was going.