A Little Slice of Utopia

When the world starts getting on top of me I have a retreat, a little place I go to in my mind. It has green fields, clear rivers full of silver fish and lots of trees. Butterflies and dragonflies of every species can be seen flitting in the clearings and glades. And I have a yurt.

I live in my yurt and nothing bothers me. It’s just me, the fields and a circular horse-hide tent. I have everything in my yurt that my heart could possibly desire, including a chest full of books at one end and a comfortable pile of cushions and blankets on which to sleep. Incense burns from a small brazier. I sit at the flap and gaze out from the top of a hill in the afternoon light at the landscape. I love my yurt.

I retreat to my yurt and its surroundings when things start going awry, when the stresses and strains of modern life get a little bit too much for me. When the government or corporations erode yet another piece of safety and sanity, when the petty bickering that seems to characterise human existence gets raised another notch or when people start demanding too much from me, the yurt beckons me into its warm embrace and all starts to feel well again for five minutes. I’m glad the yurt isn’t real. Surviving under such circumstances would have its own problems and, besides, I like other people too much to be able to stay alone in that valley forever. I could take my friends with me but one man’s ideological dream is another man’s tyrannical nightmare. The yurt can stay in my imagination; it can be perfect there.

I could attain the perfect life. It involves walks by rivers, lunches in greasy spoon cafés and a house with a good computer so I can write and research to my heart’s content. It’s a simple dream I can retire into when I’m getting on for seventy. For all that I’m a romantic at heart, I’m not convinced I’m married in this picture. In the past six years, women have been the single biggest cause of stress in my life. The major reason I’m single is that I don’t go out of my way to find a girlfriend because committing myself to someone means that I won’t be able to walk away when that person starts treating me badly, as every girl I let into my life like that has done so far. I’m not a main character in life’s script. I’m the quirky next door neighbour, the larger than life old school friend and, one day, the old man in the corner of the café, wistfully watching the world over his mug of tea. I’m happy this way; I don’t have to play everyone else’s petty little games. And I’ll never be lonely as such ’cause I’ll always have friends. Besides, if all else fails, there’s always the yurt.

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~ by Scary Rob on 29 October, 2006.

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