Burdened by the responsibilities and liabilities of a complex life, a self-employed fund manager confesses that he dreams of living out of a suitcase and staying with friends.
He has a romantic notion of the minimalist vagabond intellectual who roams the earth but is welcomed by his open-minded friends. He mentions some character in a novel who travels to different cities and has interesting conversations everywhere he goes.
The next time I talk to this lamenting dreamer, he tells me he has sold all his antiques and furniture.
"What about your penthouse?" I ask.
"Oh! That's going too," he replies. "As soon as I sell my computer, I will move out completely."
"What a shame! I really like your flat. Perfect for a home concert."
"You really think so?"
I can sense that he wants to dispose of everything he owns and become a minimalist like me.
"I am living out of a suitcase," I say. "I stay with friends. I've slept on the floor and on sofa beds. I've had to sleep with earplugs and eye patches. I've had interesting conversations over delicious dinners. It's the only extensive quality time I've had in years. I get to see how they live and share a part of their lives."
"That's what I want," he says with a slight twinge of envy.
"But you'll need to declutter first," I advise. "You have to let go of all your material possessions and give up the comfort of your palatial existence."
"I'm happy to do that. I can't wait," he says.
20 July 2004 Tuesday
and letting go of clutter, Le Bon Journal newsletter,