Classic 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.
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