The End of a Hermit
The day started out just fine with white puffy clouds dotting the deep blue summer sky. The sun was already warm but a nice breeze was blowing from the north and it was just enough to keep the air from becoming too hot. I could hear the locusts in the trees above chirping their long song and if you were to breathe the good clean morning air, you would never have believed that such a horrible thing could happen on such a lovely day.
I of course am somewhat of a hermit. I don't need anyone around to talk to, never did. I guess I've been a loner my whole life but I don't care. I'm happy, or at least I was until this afternoon and now that I'm thinking about it, I suppose I've been happy my whole life so I guess I can't complain.
Living by myself was never a problem for me. I certainly don't have any use for money. I've always thought money was an evil idea to begin with and if you ever took the time to really think about it, you'd realize it truly is the cause of most of the suffering in the world. Besides, it robs people of their independence. I mean before money, people used to know how to gather their own food, build their own homes and make their own clothes. Now look around. Most would starve today if they had to provide their own food!
Now for me, food has always been plentiful enough. I quickly learned how to find it on my own when I was still quite young and though I don't always eat well, if you'd look at me you can see I'm not exactly too thin to be healthy either.
If you want to know about my home, I'll tell you. It isn't very large I grant you but it's certainly big enough for me since I have no family to look after. I'm not interested in living in a large house simply to impress anyone like some of you do anyway.
Since I mentioned family let me tell you what I think about that. I say, "Who needs one anyway." When I think of all those problems that come with having a family, I'll tell you, I don't want any part of it. I mean here you are trying to get along with a cranky wife with kids screaming in your ears all the time. Why it's enough to make one commit suicide and who needs that? Now look at me ... I mean not now since that awful thing happened to me but before. I don't even know who my parents are and it hasn't hurt me any.
I did have a girl once and let me tell you it was great but I had to get out of there before it was too late. It was enough for me to experience it at least once. I only hope I don't have any little ones running around somewhere because of it. As I said, I admit that it was good but I promised myself not to get tied down and as long as I'm happy I refuse to let that happen.
Now this morning when I got up and stretched my legs, the dew was still on the ground and that's another thing about living my life the way I do. I can get up whenever I want to and I can stay up as late as I like without giving anything else a thought. Anyway, when I got up the sun was already warming the ground and I knew the dew wouldn't last long. Like most mornings when I get up after a good night's sleep it felt good to stretch my legs and wanted to go for a walk.
It had been a good year and with all the rain we've had, the grass was green and had grown nice and tall and so did the tasty morsels that grew out in the garden. I remember I was particularly looking forward to the taste of a tomato I've been watching as it ripened over the past week. I figured that this was the day it would be at its best and couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it.
Besides the tomatoes, there were cucumbers, squash, lettuce, melons and even corn in the garden, a regular smorgasbord for a vegetable lover like me. Oh, I'll eat meat too on occasion but fresh meat is a little harder for someone like me to get since I don't raise my own animals. Whenever I get a craving for something like that I have to go hunting and I'm not always that lucky.
Anyway, as I started to say, the day was absolutely perfect. The buzzing of bees were in my ears and there were only a few birds in the air above. Yeah, I know. How can anyone like me hate birds but let me tell you that for some, they can be quite bothersome. I've seen how they can sometimes dive down on you and of course, there's always the chance you'll get hit by their droppings which I can imagine would be quite unpleasant.
Well back to my story. As I was walking out towards the garden I thought of how lucky I was that I didn't own a TV or radio. Now I'm sure you're wondering about that but think about it for a minute. Without such devices around I don't know if we're at war with someone, which politicians are complaining about who's lying about them and I don't know, nor am I worried about whether we're in a recession or not and besides, just think of all the electricity I don't have to pay for!
Hell, when you think about it, it's not really luck at all. What it is, is a healthy life style that most people don't have the guts, or are simply too lazy to try, but for me, it's perfect. They say no news is good news and I certainly get plenty of that.
I bet you must be wondering by now how I could possibly get along without a car. Well all I can say is, "Are you kidding?" Who needs all those headaches? All the traffic, the inconsiderate drivers cutting you off, the traffic cops, and insurance costs just to name a few. Then you have to worry about someone putting a scratch on your car, having enough gas money and the fumes! Like I said, "Who needs it?" Really, when you think about it none of us actually do. We can all make do without them just fine. The problem is that people simply choose to believe that they have to have one.
Think about it. Without a car you'll still get to where you're going if you really had to be somewhere. Just ask any teenager. You'd be surprised to learn of the places they manage to go to. Of course I'm not talking about those of you who simply must have the most expensive cars just to show others that you have one. People like you belong to a whole different category and are so beyond normal, you can't even be counted among the sane.
Anyway, I'd almost reached the row of tomato plants when I got a whiff of something different in the air and closing my eyes, I concentrated on the smell but it didn't take me very long to identify it. The foul odor was that of pesticides.
I never could understand why some people insist on using the stuff. Do people really think that the tiny insects that eat some of their vegetables eat so much that those growing them will starve? I mean truly, isn't there enough for us all? Besides, don't they understand that pesticides kill everything including the good along with the bad?
Of course all you can do is shake your head. No matter what science teaches us and who complains, there will always be those who are just utterly determined to poison themselves along the way to growing so called perfect vegetables.
Well I was nearly there when I saw an airplane fly overhead and, 'There,' I thought, 'is truly one of the most marvelous inventions of man.' Imagine it. To take tens of thousands of pounds of metal, glass, plastic and cloth and actually make the thing fly! Yeah, I know. I'm a devout hermit but if I was ever to mix myself with the world of regular people, there is something I would try. I think that it is the one thing that would be worthwhile, to fly in an airplane.
Still, I'd never want it bad enough to mix myself up with the rest of civilization. Now there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. When you think of all the crime, wars, hunger and greed, civilization is probably the most uncivilized thing in the world. No wonder I'm perfectly happy with my life the way it is ... I mean was.
That is what I was thinking as I stretched out towards that nice ripe tomato I'd been eyeing over the past week and that's when it happened. In a single instant, my whole life was over.
The pretty blue sky with its puffy white clouds was suddenly blotted out by something absolutely huge and in the next moment, I was lying here on my back with all six of my legs bent and broken! And now here I am thinking of all that had gone on in my life and after all I'd been through, how ignoble an end it is to simply have been stepped on!