“It’s like I don’t care about nothing man. Roll another blunt.”
- Because I Got High, Afroman
I don’t know what happened, but I just don’t care about anything anymore. It has nothing to do with mind-altering substances. I am sane (I think?) and sober, and there is no particular reason I should feel this way, but I do. I really do. One of my favourite movies is Office Space. There is a scene where the main character Peter (played by Ron Livingston) is hypnotized into relaxation and the hypnotist proceeds to have a heart attack before he can release Peter from the spell. Peter, who doesn’t even notice the dying man falling to the floor, smiles, stands up and begins a new worry-free life. I feel just like that: Hypnotists are falling to the floor clutching their chests in agony around me and I simply feel… fantastic. Here are some things I may have worried about in the past but can’t even pretend to care about any longer:
1. Impressing women*
Mystical beings, beautiful, powerful, dark, mysterious, baby-makers, nurturers, temperers of men and champions of civilization, “Who run the world?” You can take a woman out for Thai food, make her laugh, get drunk on draft beer together and dance badly to latin music, bring her to a beach, a nice hotel, or just stay home and make breakfast, wash the dishes and have a little towel fight, swim, drink wine, make a curry and rice meal, watch a band play, meet new people over coffee, go kayaking together, watch for shooting stars on the deck of a sailboat, and yet, in a flash she can turn and suddenly you are Tokyo and she a green 300 ft tall fire-breathing dragon-like creature, roaring and stomping through your street, burning and crushing everything that mattered to you as you flee in terror, eyebrows singed.
2. Driving a shiny car
Cars roll down the road in constant peril from flying rocks, crashes, lunatics, moose crossings, fire and any number of other calamities and, even when sitting still, floods, hail, door dings, thefts, and wayward dropped pianos threaten, or even just the endless sun wind and weather beating down, and unless you are just starting out in life, in my humble opinion, your car should not represent more than tiny percentage of your net worth so that if, in the very likely event, it were to blow up tomorrow, you should be able to pay cash for its replacement without shedding a single tear. Remember Tom Hanks said, ‘There is no crying in baseball’? Well, there is no crying over cars either. If you cry over your car in front of me, I will not slap you in the face, but I will want to.
3. Owning a nice house
Sometimes I dream about having a nice big house on the oceanfront. Then I start fantasizing about building a dock in front and tying my boat to that dock. Then I move into my boat and don’t care about the house. Then I sail away in the boat and don’t care about the dock, the house, the budget deficit, the situation in Syria, anything. When someone points out a beautiful house to me, all I see are taxes, maintenance, lawn watering, flower mowing, needing someone to look after it while away, hail storms, floods, alarm system monitoring, hiring cleaning people, keeping the cleaning people from stealing your shit, keeping the furnishings up-to-date with Scandinavian furniture that somehow represents the essence of your soul, and ultimately the boredom of the same dull view every damn day. Every damn day. For most this is the ultimate dream. For a select few, a nightmare.
There are many other things to add to this don't-care-about list but, believe it or not, I respect your time too much to list them all. It is simpler to point out the things that matter: Friends, family, work, music, sailing, learning, exploring, physical fitness, clients—who are just more friends anyway, and ideas and dreams that keep the fire burning inside. And I swear I'm not high.
*Not entirely true.