Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chapter 1: It Is like I Am Living a Minimalist Lifestyle with the Rest of the World. - Joe

    Joe had just grown accustomed to the moistness of the wood when his eyes caught the first speckle of dawn drip through a pinhole size opening in the exposed redbrick wall, dimly lighting his crawl space bedroom.

     Inspired, he thrust his hand into his pocket and retrieved a black digital recorder. Clenching it tight he casually spoke, “Chapter Five: Mourning Morning…learning how to bid adieu to morning dew.” With that, he triumphantly buried his recorder back into his pocket, closed his eyes, and tumbled toward slumber.

     No longer encumbered by pedestrian problems, like sunrise, he easily curled into his first nap of the day while the wet cerulean of the morning crawled across the Stark’s lawn, tip-toed over Joe’s legs, and spilled onto his side of the drywall he shared with the Stark's.

     When Joe first began to consider minimalistic lifestyles he struggled to find one that appealed to him. While the popular choices each had qualities that invigorated him in his quest for clarity, rarely did they meet the strict standards that would make true enlightenment possible. Going Vegan satisfied his need for a structured belief system, but didn’t agree with his demand for a more elevated palette. The Eastern cultures seemed encouraging with focus on inner peace, but prayer and mediation seemed like an awful lot of work. Eventually he settled on a need for a pursuit that combined his laser focus understanding of the world around him, while quelling any desire or urge to do anything to fix the world around him. 

Eventually, he settled on something of his own design: Nesting.

…maybe Nest-yle.
…he hadn’t settled on a name yet. 

Squirrel living agreed with Joe. There was something about a lifestyle of sleep, scurry, and scavenge that simply suited him. He had successfully stripped his day of responsibility, and in-turn found that he had finally been able to take ownership of his time, effort, and very existence.

     To prove he was here he would keep a detail account of his journey. Like earlier in the week, when he completed his dedication page:

This is dedicated to great explorers like Buzz Aldrin, Christopher Columbus, and Magellan.

If it were not for them…I would not have been able to take this leap for humanity, 
dig my feet into the sands of time, 
and lay my flag onto the surface of this brand new world.

     With each new discovery came a new recording. They were a series of verbal markings and notations that provided a roadmap, in case he ever needed to find his way back. And somewhere in the recesses of his digital autobiography was part one of his curriculum vitae, “Chapter 1: It is like I am living a minimalist lifestyle with the rest of the world. - Joe”

     When Joe was finally waking, it was late afternoon. The natural light of the day had faded from the pinhole in the red brick and was readily being replaced by the artificial light of the Stark’s living room, peering in from slight tears in the dividing drywall Joe was currently pushed against for warmth.

“The luxury of lethargy…when there are no deadlines…other than the ones you create for yourself, of course,” a half-asleep Joe mumbled into his closed fist.

     Using the wall for warmth was an idea he crafted, in his former life, from an episode of his favorite faux-survival reality show. Joe had discovered that by scratching away at the inner side of the drywall he was able to remove the layer of pressed paper, then remove several inches of white-clay rock, and able to reveal the remaining brown paper exposed to the elements of the Stark’s living room. Pressed tightly against it, Joe could soak in the rapidly escaping heat, much like fire-warmed granite.

This method of occupational destruction also serves as a perfect distraction during the restless twilight hours. A greater detailing of this and other productive time occupiers can be found in his personal account in “Chapter 3: Occupy Crawl-Sleep”


     Daniel Stark pressed his hands against the bowed wall and met resistance. It was not a leak – this he was certain. He had spent most of the morning inspecting his roof for missing shingles, a discoloration, or even a hole. Now standing in the living room, with his fingertips pawing the taut drywall, he knew something must have found its way into the wall and was prepared to bunk for the winter.

Whatever it was that pushed against the wall…was large.

Most days he could hear it rustling, scratching, and gnawing at his drywall in what must be an effort to trim its nails and teeth. Eventually, he feared, it would want to push out from the place that it had colonized and into the place he himself called home in a terrifying example of vermin manifest destiny.

Daniel stood in his living room staring hopelessly at the pot-bellied wall. An outside element. An intruder.  It had taken refuge in his home, and he truly did not know what to do.  Lost, Daniel turned and sat at his computer to present the query to Facebook.

As he began typing he swore he heard someone talking.


     From the largest tear in the drywall Joe could make out what Daniel was writing. Needing to document what he felt was an important moment, Joe pulled out his recorder and spoke, “Day 32: Dan is having trouble with an uninvited guest…strange that he wouldn’t just ask me for advice. Keep an eye on this developing situation.”