The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

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No, It Can’t Be Better Than This

Posted on November 24, 2013

As a child in elementary school, I remember The Day – the last day of school – as something definitive and momentous. Weeks leading up to The Day were felt, it was in the air, these fumes of freedom, and each student’s excitement would rise accordingly as The Day drew nearer. We were intoxicated by the expectations and possibilities Summer allowed; cleaning out our desks and classrooms were chores we assumed happily, for they were symptoms of a grander reward. With age I find the momentousness of such events has either a huge delay or has disappeared altogether. Last days of school at university were anti-climactic because everyone would go home at different times, often in the midst of a stressful finals atmosphere; most…

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Posted on November 22, 2013

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The “Fuck This _____” moment is a moment of patent irreconcilability. It’s the instant that you decide you can no longer live a certain way, cloaked by a certain pretense, a declaration of the unsustainable. You can move mountains in this moment and your resolve is so strong, any objection, internal or external, is hushed even before it’s voiced.

I’ll be in Vietnam sooner than later. January, to be exact. A year there and then I’m off. There’s the whole of Asia to see, you see, and the Middle East and Africa’s spine. Turkmenistan has a hole in the ground that is perpetually on fire, Namibia has sand dunes on which to sand-board and a dark sky preserve of that supreme quietness where only the universe is speaking to you, Japan has hole-in-wall ramen joints and I have a passion for ramen that is unmatched by anyone. There is something for me in every Place, just like there is something for you, but only if we choose to see it that way.

It will be a trip where I internalize, happily, the fact that I as an individual don’t mean much, I am bound to nothing, and I am free to roam the earth with good consequence. My lightness of being will only be kept semi-grounded by a small backpack, thereby keeping me from floating away.

I look at a map and the world seems so small. But what I really mean is that our world is finite. Ever-changing, but finite. And so I look at maps and I’m comforted by this thought, that there is only so much to see but it is enough to keep me busy.

Then there’s this romance: East Asia to Africa is everything and nothing to me.