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When it is light, I get up, when it is dark, I go to bed. I have no need of a clock or a watch; my other world was governed by time; my whole life was rushing around looking at my watch, but here there are no deadlines, places to go and people to meet in your allocated hours.

Well, I thought I would write my story, in case someone ever finds this place, not sure anybody will, as I have not been discovered since moving here twenty years ago, but I can hear machinery and logging in the far off distant, so it’s just a matter of time I suppose.

I never really felt I fitted into society, always a bit of a loner growing up, but I made friends, made it through college, got married and had kids. I was in a steady, fairly well-paid job, everything seemed pretty good.

I guess it wasn’t until my forties, we started to have these vacations where we would hire a log cabin in these way off places. I used to wake up early every morning as soon the light started to peer through the shutters, and I used to get up and go for long walks on my own. There was something about these walks, being on my own in the wilderness that pushed some button inside of me that I just couldn’t turn off; it was like a drug, I just had to have it. When we used to go back to the city, something was profoundly missing in my life; it wasn’t just the walks, it was something else, my whole being; the way I thought, smelled, tasted, heard, I mean god man, I even shat differently when I was back in the city. I was just a different person, and that person I didn’t like.

Anyway, this went on for about ten years and on my fiftieth birthday, the day after my wife sprung a surprise birthday party for me which was fucking horrendous man! All these people I hardly knew and their fat, obnoxious kids, piled into their obscene land yachts talking about how much money they had and what shit they spent it on, just blew a fuse, I had to turn my back on this, so that’s what I did.

I haven’t seen my wife or kids since, you might think, hey man you are some selfish motherfucker deserting your kids like that, but let me tell you there’s not a day go by when I don’t think about them, but I know they’ll be doing alright in their world, I set them all up financially so they don’t really need to worry about money and same for my wife. My only guilt is that they didn’t turn out differently to 99% of everyone else living in the States, but I can’t blame them, they were sucked in like everyone else, luckily for me I escaped.

Well, I’m seventy now, I still feel pretty fit, but sooner or later I will die, and some poor soul will finally come across me, there may not be much left of me, but what there is, if you don’t mind putting it in the ground, I appreciate it. And, no, I haven’t been murdered, there’s no motherfucker around here, I probably just had a heart attack one day chopping wood.

At first it was hard. I have always been quite a fit guy, but nothing can prepare you for a life in the wilderness, chopping down trees and pulling logs, my shoulders and back used to feel like I had been beaten by a baseball bat the next day.

I lived in a tent for the first few months until I at least had the remnants of a cabin with a roof on it, but I got there and this cabin and everything in it has been built by myself, mostly from wood naturally, but when I ventured a few hours from my homestead I have picked up old tyres and plastic, and of course you are probably thinking what did this guy use for nails and with what did he hammer the nails in with? Well of course I visited the local store, three hours away, so that was the first few days, I made a list of everything I would need, the reason it took a few days, because I wanted to be sure, because I was determined that I would never go back to that store. So that’s what I did, I had a list of the essentials; hammer, saw, nails, seeds to grow vegetables, a large plastic container for holding water, a rifle and a gas stove. I looked like some crazy gold digger when I left that town. I go back only once a year for a new gas bottle and some essential supplies, like a bottle of Jack Daniels but apart from that I have survived on my own. I catch and hunt my own food and grow my own vegetables. I have a natural supply of water from the rain I catch in the water butt I made. The water is used mainly for cooking and drinking, so I am kind of smelly, so probably a good job I do live on my own. But when it does rain, and by god it rains! I strip naked and have a shower outside, which there is nothing like it. For light and warmth, I have candles and a fire, which again you can’t beat, I wouldn’t swap a cold dark winter night sitting opposite my fire with a glass of JD for anything, I can imagine our forefathers and their forefathers living like that.

And that’s really what this is all about, living. I chose to live this way and I have no regrets. I think the world now is not how we should be living; it’s not in our makeup. You look at America now compared to hundreds of years ago; people drive everywhere, they sit in offices all day looking at screens and if they are not doing that, they are sitting at home watching mind-numbing TV, eating manufactured food. I’ve had not a single cold since moving out here; I eat food that is straight from the ground or out the forest, free from chemicals and additives and I exercise every day, the two key components I believe to a healthy life. Us humans are hunter gatherers by trade, we are not meant to be sitting on our arses all day looking at screens which plays havoc with your mental health. I used to live like that, drive to the office, sit down all day looking at a screen and I felt miserable and depressed most of the time, because it’s not what our bodies have been made to do. It’s like keeping a Ferrari locked in the garage all the time and occasionally taking it out, but then only driving it round the block at 20mph. If that car could talk, it would say, ‘Fuck you man, what are you doing to me!’

We live in a country now, where we can’t move, we can’t think, we can’t be creative. It’s all about pressure: pressure to live a certain way, pay the bills, have a nice house and nice car.

The Govt squeeze us like a sponge to get every last drop of our money and our energy, so that all we want to do is just collapse in a chair at night eating popcorn and watching shit TV.

Anyway, enough of my gripe, you make your own mind up. I opted out and I now live the life that I think my body and mind has craved for a long time, and you only get one life so why not be happy. What I haven’t told you about is my life in this forest so here goes.

As I said I am up with the light, I have breakfast and I walk in the forest for about two hours. All I can hear is the birds singing and the wood cracking under my feet. Everything is fresh, the smells and the air and everything is clear, it is not hazy like in the city with the pollution, you can stare at a tree about 100 yards away and pick out all its finest details, it’s curves, roughness, bumps and a clear line, an aura I suppose, that outlines that tree like some delicately drawn picture. And the flowers are something, works of art with their many colours intricately woven like they have been painted. I can sit for hours staring at a butterfly, it flirts with me, as it slowly closes and opens its wings and flies off to another tree but still within close range of me. Its beauty mesmerises me.

When I get back, I usually rest for a while, I might read or write. I have always enjoyed writing and I have found since moving here, my thoughts are so lucid and I can feel so creative when I write. I can see now why a lot of these writer’s retreats are in the middle of nowhere. If the sun is out and it’s warm, I enjoy just sitting on my porch, sipping freshly made juice and taking it all in what’s around me, as every day looks different out here.

I’ve had my dark times out here, living with yourself is sometimes not easy, I get negative thoughts and days when I am down, I suppose like everyone else, and the solitude and claustrophobic feelings you get. For me that has been the hardest, when I close my eyes at night, it really is total blackness, like you would not imagine, and the anxiety and panic attacks kick in and I struggle to breath, it’s probably like being in a coffin underground, that’s how best I can describe it, but I have learnt to live with it. The especially bad nights, which seems to be worse in the winter, when some days I can be indoors all day, I’ll take a drop of JD, it usually takes the edge off it.

The few times I have been laid up, normally if I have had an accident and maybe sprained an ankle or something, is also hard. There is a cloud of vulnerability that covers you and you kind of feel trapped with nowhere to go, probably how a rabbit feels in one of my traps.

For me killing animals has been one of the hardest things for me, it has never come natural to me, luckily most of the targeted animals have died instantly, there were only a few times in the early days, when I was tweaking the traps or getting my eye in with my range on my rifle. I hate to see anything in pain, if an animal has to die, it at least deserves to die instantly and painlessly.

Well, I am kind of getting tired now, out here it’s a different kind of tiredness, not like back in the city, when you feel de-energised and just need comfort food, out here you feel your body and mind has had a good work out, now it’s content to just rest. So, that’s what I am going to do, I’m going to seal this up in the one envelope I possess and write on it, TO WHOEVER FINDS ME and leave it on this table here. I am happy, I have a good life.

Good night and God bless.


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