Question 004…    by   Rory Andes

Ignoring all financial considerations, would you rather spend the next 5 years confined to an urban mecca like New York City, or a beautiful, isolated town on the California coast?

I once lived twenty minutes from anything. ANYTHING. I lived on five acres in a rural part of western Washington overlooking the mountains to my east and Puget Sound to my west. Out of my back window was a scene that could only be painted by the hand of God. It was beautiful.

Looking back, I hated every minute of it. The beauty I want in my life doesn’t come from the view of the scenery, it comes from people. People and the human condition are the direct connection to my soul. You see, I landed in that five acres that was twenty minutes away from anywhere, directly following my second tour in Iraq. I was damaged. To top it off, I put all my eggs in the basket of one person who could truly have cared less if I lived or died in that goddamned place and I built a home with her, toxic, abusive, unfaithful. There, I was isolated and in massive amounts of extreme pain and in that isolation is where I imploded… in that house, on those five acres, twenty minutes from anywhere.

I allowed my life to move beyond my clear understanding and because of it, I’ve been chasing the ghosts of my past ever since. And it all still brings up pain this many years later about being alone and in a void without people. Not to mention, have you ever needed butter for the pot of Mac n’ Cheese that’s on the stove and when you realize you’re out, you absolutely hate the idea of effing living twenty minutes from civilization?

Put me in NYC for eternity. I can guarantee that everyday I will be filled with the joy of people. And because NYC is so vast, so exciting, so complex and diverse, I know I will find a million amazing things to do with ten million amazing people. And when I need space, it’s there, too. Because after the hell of five acres of painful, lifeless living and ten years in prison untouched, dear God, give me someone…. give me a few of them…. and let’s have a block party.

Question originally from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.
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by Rory Andes

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