I could give up most anything
Editor’s note: Anthony is out of town this week, so we’re rerunning this column from 2009.
I’ve been addicted to several things over the years, and I’m an addict now. Addictions can rule your life and sometimes ruin it, although the ruin is likely to be caused by government goons protecting society from outlaw medicine, now called “drugs.”
I’m addicted to coffee with sugar in the morning, a good, legal kick. I wonder if there are coffee abolitionists, anti-coffee crusaders. Probably. I’ve given up coffee more than once, but not for long. At least it’s not cocaine.
I used to be addicted to music, an excellent analgesic. These days I mostly hear my son’s favorites. I could never hear any more music like that forever and still be happy.
Doing without is a good exercise for me. I like knowing that I can function independently—OK, thinking that I can function independently—and that I can get by on little or nothing. I don’t have a lot of needs beyond the basics, and my physical life is relatively simple. Inside my head is another world altogether.
I live without television. We see television shows collected on DVDs and plenty of video trash online, but no broadcast television, no commercials and especially no corporate news. I recommend it.
I could do without a car. I could. I just don’t want to. I lived for years without a car, and I’ll do it again. I will.
I could do without most people. Excepting a tiny group of family and friends, I have little need or desire for frequent social contact. I could be a good monk.
I like my yard, but if I had to give it up, I could get by as long as I had somewhere else to sit outside privately. That’s what I want a yard for. It can be pretty and smell good, too, but mostly it’s somewhere for me to be alone outside.
I have been addicted to the Internet. Several years ago, after lightning fried my modem, I realized how hooked I was.
On the other hand, I love indoor plumbing. And central heating. Air conditioning I’m not so crazy about, but it’s mighty useful in July when it’s 115 degrees and I’m inclined to let the ozone go to hell.
As much as anything else I do habitually, I read. I read all the time, whenever there are words I can see. Reading has been important to me as long as I can remember. We didn’t have nerds when I was in school, so I was a bookworm. This year I’m celebrating 57 years of reading. I do it every day. I’m glad it’s legal now.