The Master Plan

In the last couple of weeks, shortly after the new year, I have been solving my worries with dreams of a better future. While this isn't necessarily a great solution to one's problems, it makes things seem less unfortunate. For example: "Oh I won't worry about that large man who wants to take my teeth for loan payment, I'm going to be a pop star some day." See? It's rather easy. Now of course my plan isn't quite so outrageous, nor are my problems, but the same logic applies. I've taken to calling this my master plan. It's a fall back for when things get too rough. What I mean by that is when our president decides he wants to avenge his "dadday" or something equally ridiculous by sending us to war, or should he get re-elected, or even if the economy tumbles into an abyss from which it may never return. These are a few circumstances that will trigger my master plan.

The master plan itself is of course based on my aspirations. I've wanted to be a real writer for a long time now, and while I try to keep at it and develop my skills, it still seems a little far away. Writing makes up an integral part of the master plan, the part that takes it from pure fantasy to actual delusion. The second half is moving out of the country. Most of the time I imagine myself picking up and flying off to Sicily, though I have had the same ideas about the South of France. Where the two come together is, if I was a writer who could write an article or work on a novel wherever I was, I could send the pieces to my publisher from my far away locale and still be paid. Sounds good, but not too far fetched. These are the requirements for fantasies that become obscure mental worlds. Some people like to do this with the help of Everquest, but I never wanted to be an elf.

Whenever I mention this plan to people I know they say that they want to come along. That in itself is proof that my master plan is not too far fetched. It's also proof that if I pull it off, people are going to want a free place to stay in Sicily for a week before they decide that actually finding work there is too much trouble and then fly home. It's okay though, I don't speak a word of Italian, so I'd welcome the English speaking company. So many people wanting to join me in my dream world has brought up the possibility that the writing half may not be so easily established. While I worked to get published in Sicily (remember I'll be fleeing from some sort of mass hysteria here in the U.S.), I could become an olive farmer. I think it was at that point where I crossed the line of mental illness.

I imagined myself working away on my olive farm from a small house in Sicily. A warm day with bright sun actually providing my skin with much needed color passes pleasantly. I have two goats on the farm and a cat to keep me company in the house. It was when I decided to name the imaginary cat Pedro that the trouble started. You see, once the cat is named, it's only a few seconds before the goats had names as well. Roger and Paulo, my phantasmal goats, quickly adopted personalities. Paulo was the trouble-maker and Roger the 'good' goat. As you can tell, I have either an over-active imagination, or a problem with runaway hallucinations.

With imaginary pets named and fictional days passing in my mind, I chatted along with people about my future in Sicily. My italian half compells me to live in a place where I can eat spaghetti every day and not have people call me weird. The food in itself would be enough to sway me to the Mediterranean island, but Italy has such great wine as well. Not to mention the possibility of sailing on the sea to replace my long lost video games. The fantasy was now taking up serious time and space in my brain. A cold snap would ruin the olive crop and a hard winter would force me to eat poor Paulo. Ever the dutiful friend and pet, giving his life so that I may continue to live. About a minute after I said that to my friend Ben, he called me a psychopath.

So what are the chances that I pull off my little delusion? Is there a chance that I won't just be a psychopath? Well yes, but let's look at it a little more. I could move out of the country. Probably to Europe, probably to France or Italy. Sicily is cheap which makes it an attractive option. The chances of me being an olive farmer, however, are much lower. I'd probably have to live near an internet cafe or some other way of contact with the online world. As much as I despise the internet, I need it. Badly. For all the parts of it I loathe to see or even think about, I must have my daily infusion of content. I go days without cable TV, but never more than one without my internet fix. That right there will probably hamstring the whole plan. As for me getting two goats, that also is a sticking point. A cat is easy. Naming him Pedro is easier still. But taking care of goats takes some knowledge of them and a willingness to have things like clothes and garbage eaten by said goats. So I think that strikes the goats from the plan. I also don't think I would eat a goat, though my last trip to Italy I ate boar meat and I've been craving it ever since. I even had a dream that I shot a boar with a bow and arrow and roasted him on a spit. Needless to say, I think there was cocaine in my boar meat. Finally, there's writing, I need to take myself from a guy who can't update a website more than once a month to someone who can make money by publishing remotely. We'll see how that turns out.

Don't let my dream's dissection lead you away from self-delusion though. It's an excellent way to avoid problems that will probably come back to bite you in the ass. Even better, it's something to do when you could be working. Make sure that you tell all the people you know about your somewhat realistic dreams for the future so that they can be sure to bring it up later in life. "So whatever happened to you becoming an astronaut?"   "Oh well, see I had these kids and... I throw up on the tea cups at Disneyland."