The Monkey Suit

Each day I open The Facebook Times and scroll through pictures of glorified nature hikes and quotes of dead people ordering me to push my limits and trail blaze a path into the unknown. Apparently I should do whatever excites me and brings pleasure to my life because that’s the only good way to live it. Artistic mavens from here and then solidify this ideal, like Hunter S. Thompson in his 1955 essay entitled “Security”…

Security … what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut?

Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes? …

Why then do I rise every morn before the sun and put on my monkey suit 1 perfectly creased pant leg at a time? Here’s why.

For every Hunter S. Thompson there are 500 homeless bums with no means to fund their drug addictions. I live in Venice now and each day I notice 1 of each: a new mural and a new bum. I’ve seen the lifestyle; it’s not for me. Ever.

I would love to drink, travel, meet beautiful women, and write throughout my divine 20’s and I could find the means do it by working odd jobs…but then what? I’ll wake up tomorrow with 30 years under my belt having learned no professional skills at which point the boring 9 to 5ers will begin translating their dreams into reality and shaping their future by utilizing the help of the grey-hairs who they’ve assisted.

The early 20’s are a tough era. We see little reward for our efforts and the light at the end of the tunnel is a dim lit speck on the horizon. I’m being used up for every ounce of productivity within me to help old dudes and dudettes fulfill their dreams because they’ve already walked hundreds of miles in my shoes paying their dues all along the way.

Yet I will not fret. If life were a 24-hour clock, it is just past 7:00am for someone in their early 20s. I’m just waking up! My dreams will come to fruition, soon, but they must be put on the back-burner for now.

I will continue to wear the goddamn monkey suit with a Half Windsor. I will sit behind a computer screen every day and continue to acquire the knowledge that has been gained from the failures of past generations by rote. But don’t get it twisted. I’ll pepper my drudgery with experiences where I have the liberty to unleash myself…

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