I hated school. I hated work. I hated boredom. I had no interest. I had a happy childhood. There was school, adolescence, growing up, questions about the future. I was twenty-one. I had no dream.
I dropped in and out of college. After three years I wasn’t going back.
Students sat on lawns, drank coffee, held books, discussed ideas, wore expensive sandals and footwear. Professors taught classes on campus greens. Students basked in youth, in the fine times of college. I was told I’d meet my friends for life in college.
Everywhere people smoked, sat on wide steps of academic buildings, enjoyed the outdoors together, like people in glossy-paged catalogues.
I hated college atmosphere.
I left college for the last time as impulsively as ever – free and happy – like I had a bottomless pocket of money, fully funded, like my lungs were fresh and I could still run a mile in under six minutes.
Cars passed slow with the wind brushing up my hair. I listened to the dusty dirt on the bottoms of my new leather shoes. I felt slow like a fish underwater, like a soft cloud pulled along.
I was content to be slow, away from the vague traps between cause and effect.
Birds made noise along the roadsides, up high in the light-green pine needles. I smelled the sandy heat. When I closed my eyes I believed I had a grand future; I had no problems; the past didn’t matter.
I was going to make my life an adventure.
### END EXCERPT ###
A few days ago I was at Book People in Austin, TX and stumbled upon a small white display of 4 white books. When I say white book I mean the cover is completely white, no title, no author, no publisher, no copyright. 200 pages of text. $5.
I immediately picked it up and went to check out. The checkout girl made a comment. “This book confuses me every time I stock it. I don’t know where or how to put it, but it appeals to my teenage anarchist younger years.”
I thought that was funny. Mostly because it’s obvious she didn’t read it. Even so, she was drawn to the book in some way.
That’s on purpose. It’s mysterious. No author, no design, it’s cheap. While I’m sure there is a little profit in the $5 for the author, it can’t be much. The lack of cover is meant to draw people in. The first page (reprinted above with “permission”) is meant to draw people in.
It obviously drew me in.
I still can’t fully figure out what the book is about. It’s about a man who is lost yet found. He knows where he is, but doesn’t know where he’s going. It’s about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s about travel. It’s about finding your own way within a system that wants you to comply to their way.
It’s about consumerism. It’s about minimalism. It’s about alcoholism. It’s about a lot of isms.
It’s scattered, it’s plotless, it’s completely incomplete. It has no defined beginning and no known ending. But that’s life, isn’t it?
If you’re a fan of Catcher In The Rye (I am) or On The Road (I’m not) or Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (awesome) I think this book will appeal to you.
In some ways I feel like I’ve been fooled into some kind of sick mass control by writing about this little white book. Like it’s a trick played by some evil corporation or government. It answers no questions and and yet it answers them all. What more could I ask for?
The book is called Manifesto. You can’t buy it anywhere. But you can buy it somewhere. Enjoy. ;)
I’m in Michigan! This Monday I’m posting about my next (frigid) destination, where I will be residing from Jan 2 – March 11. But more than that I’ll write about compelling reasons and why we need them to accomplish anything important. Subscribe to the RSS, follow me on twitter, or Like the facebook page so you don’t miss this update.