Someplace Not Here

Classic Deisel truck ( Kenworth diesel truck

When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.

My life of happy materialism had dematerialized, and my life of decadent sensualism had made no sense. So now I was a spiritual vagrant, which made even less sense. I’d started by looking for meaning, but what did meaning even mean, and where would I find it? I hadn’t found it in London or Paris. Still, vagrance had a bad fragrance.

So I located a truck stop, stuck out my thumb, and found someone to share all the fun I wasn’t having. It was a truck driver-philosopher named Phillipe who spoke pretty-good English.

“You go where?” said Phillipe.

“Someplace not here,” said I.

“Bon, that is just where I go,” replied Phillipe.

So I climbed aboard. I shared my chewy nougat candy with him, and he bought me espressos to keep me awake all night, so he’d have someone to talk to on the long haul to Lyons. But I slept anyway. Although I did twitch a lot. Small compensation for someone who wants to talk, I suppose.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at a diesel stop, and discussed our freshly-forged ancient philosophies.

“Expérience! This is only thing that is real,” said Phillipe, “and nothing is real until we expérience it.”

So I asked him what it was like being in the womb.

“Oh-ho, I cannot remember,” said Phillipe, “but I am sure it was quite an expérience.” There are many things, he insisted, that we experience and then forget. Nevertheless, they exist now and are real only because we were once there to expérience them.

So I asked him what it was like when he was conceived.

Phillipe laughed and said, “How should I know? I wasn’t there.” Then he thought about what I’d said and grew très irrité.

It was quite an expérience.

I’ve always felt bad about arguing with people I don’t really know—and yet I do it. Still, Phillipe and I departed under détente. I think.

I lied when I said I had no destination. There was this pretty girl I’d met who was from Barcelona and, well, I was twenty-something, so there was always “this pretty girl” from somewhere. Still, mostly I went there because…

It was someplace not here.

To read the next episode, click here.


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Someplace Not Here

  1. Pingback: My Life as a Spiritual Vagrant | Mitch Teemley

  2. Reminds me: I just added a translator to my website so the mayor of a French town can read it, since he takes school children to visit a young uncle’s grave nearby. He was KIA during WWII.

    Enjoy the way you sprinkled French through his vignette.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. haoyando says:

    Hmmm. “Then he thought about what I’d said and grew très irrité.” I wonder if there’s a bit of cultural differences here between English speaking people and French speaking people. LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. henhouselady says:

    I loved this small snippet from your travels. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    ♤ What ARE YOU!!! Doing 🤔 ? Here
    ♤ Where ARE YOU!!! 🤔 ? Here
    ♤ When is It!!! 🤔 ? Here

    …in a word; it’s EXPERIENCE!!!…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhhhhh, “Somewhere, not here!” Thank you again Mitch. Your posts always make me stop and think… As an emptynester, this is more in focus now. My hubby and I raised 6 kiddos and loved every minute of it, but “somewhere, not here!” has more meaning to us now. Movement causes adjustment and adjusting to new surroundings will be interesting one day. Hope you got the girl 😀 Blessings and honor, Christine C Sponsler

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: New Word #21: Learned Recently – Haoyan Do

  8. I enjoyed reading about your encounter with Phillipe. Took me back to my childhood with people of French-Canadian extraction.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Life is such an adventure. Amazing story!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story! Long-distance Drivers are some of the best philosophers (better if they are drunk). I think “somewhere not here” is the best possible destination–it leaves so many options open 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lilyofthevalley777 says:

    Enjoyed the ride and your story. Très beau! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wish leaving is as simple as walking from the bedroom to the kitchen…

    Liked by 1 person

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