I recently stumbled on a Quora question in which the writer was thinking about quitting his job and selling his possessions to travel the world. He gave a brief description of himself (single, in his 20s, a job but no career), and asked whether he should go for it.
The resounding answer was yes, but not necessarily because it was a respectable lifestyle. Rather, because he was young enough to get away with it. Because he still had time to build a career, a family, and a real life. Because now was the time to get the travel bug out of his system.
I was glad to read the encouragement and travel tips he received, but couldn’t help wonder: what if a 40-something man with three young children also wanted to become a nomad?
A nomad is someone who travels extensively, with no real home to speak of other than…
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You did it. You did it, dude. You, after all the nerves and the vomiting and the potent, possibly psychotic self-hatred, finally – FINALLY – worked up the courage to ask her out on a date, and now here you are: in your car and on your way towards picking her up; you’re driving the speed limit & music down low, even though feel your heart pumping? You’re going to fail, dude, you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail, you’re going to going to going to fail, dude you can feel your heart beating in your chest, pumping hard enough to keep a steady beat on your ribcage like a demon playing a xylophone, and music might be a good way to cover up that horrible melody. You’re going to be just fine, dude. You did it. You did it, dude. You walked right the hell up to the girl at the bookstore – fiction section, third shelf, near Pynchon – and you asked her out on what will probably be an anticlimactic, awkward romp through the movie theater. But you did it, dude. You showed confidence and you showed courage and chutzpah and dude, you’re going to be just fine. There is no doubt about this at all. Don’t worry about it. Oh-ho-ho, you are so fucked. You’re going to trip and fall and break your teeth, my awkward friend. It’s only a matter of time. You’re going to burn like the Hindenburg and ohhhhh the humanity, this is going to horrible and you’re going to look like a goddamn idiot, dude. That voice you hear is just your self-esteem screaming out in terror before being drowned in a bathtub. But it doesn’t matter. Look at you: you’re on your way to pick up the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen. Of all the girls in all the bookstores in this little blue world of ours, it had to be her, you know? She’s perfect: long brown hair, soft eyes, kind smile, a button with “Trystero” emblazoned beneath a muted horn. She’s perfect. Perfect. Stunning and smart and kind. And you worked up the nerve, my god. That’s a rarity & you know it. That long brown hair, that red lipstick, that wit, that grace, those breasts which, I might add, is precisely why you’re going to fuck this up. You ever look at yourself in the mirror? The glasses, the tired eyes. Your awful, coffee-and-cigarette-stained teeth. You’re a mess. Oh, and P.S.: nice shirt, douche. Don’t listen to that voice. Stop listening. Pay attention to the road – that was a pedestrian, dude. Don’t kill a pedestrian listening to that awful little voice in your head. That would probably be a bad move in the long run – like, if the date went well, would she really come and visit you in prison? “Baby, baby, I accidentally ran someone over on the way to your place. Romantic, right?” And she would laugh and twirl her beautiful hair around her long fingers and then oh god, this is going to be such a goddamn nightmare. How far away am I from her place? It has to be soon, right? Oh god, oh god, oh god, I’m going to vomit, I think feel your heart pumping? You’re going to fail, dude, you’re going to fail, you’re going to fail, you’re going to going to going to fail, dude and oh, how beautiful she is.
There’s the door.
In March, Columbia Records launched one of its major albums of 2012, the Shins’s Port of Morrow. In the five years that had elapsed since the last full-length Shins release, the band, which became one of rock’s standard bearers with three terrific albums for Sub Pop Records between 2001 and 2007, underwent significant changes. Although two original Shins appear briefly on Port of Morrow, band founder, songwriter, and leader James Mercer remains the only permanent member. In addition to the new line-up, Port of Morrow is the first Shins album distributed by a major label. Mercer and the revamped band have generated extraordinary interest in the record, participating in a Columbia engineered program of multimedia promotion that has included live performance broadcasts (including a full hour on The Late Show with David Letterman), a nationwide tour, appearances at major festivals in the United States and Europe, consumer…
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This story by Suzanne Snider—which details the fantastical rise and fall of John DeLorean, a former titan of the American automotive industry—first appeared in the June/July 2006 issue of Tokion. Snider is the founder/director of Oral History Summer School, and she is currently completing a nonfiction book about rival communes on adjacent land. Our thanks to Snider for allowing us to feature it on Longreads.
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