Typically, people use isolation as an excuse to battle. I find that a tad myopic. Isolation provides amazing perspective, looking from the outside in, and I constantly marvel over the diversity of populations.
My wisdom is virtuous, surely, but I am not quite infallible. Like all humans, I tend to label episodes with absolutes like best or most. Such exercises can only be accurately applied in hindsight. And as I am still living, the task is fruitless.
Yet nonetheless, I thought I had reached the pinnacle of isolation, working a graveyard shift in Chinatown for two and a half years. How could I possibly feel more outcast than that?
Here I am in sunny, sinful Las Vegas, a town which is currently hosting a convention for fitness and nutrition enthusiasts. And I feel utterly alien.
Not just in the obvious physical ways, either. Surely there is contrast between my 60kg self in girl-Dickies, second-hand t-shirts, and tattered Converse All-Stars to their 125kg, bulging masses in shiny silks and tear-away athletic pants. No, what I find truly astonishing are the differences in our mindsets.
To me, the pinnacle of living is enjoying a nice cup of coffee and a cigarette, laughing with friends, or if alone, deep in thought.
Work isn't about remodeling your physique or prolonging your life expectancy. Such things are respectively the domains of happiness and curiosity. Work is a necessary evil, whose sole purpose is to aid in the procurement of coffee and cigarettes.
Obviously, we differ greatly on this point.
But, Vegas doesn't stay the same for long. Soon enough, the bodybuilders will be gone, replaced with some other group of like-minded hooligans, and I'll still be me, strange, estranged.