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Safety First

I’m surprised, and more than a little touched, by the number of people wishing me a safe return from my trip. Bastards are unaccustomed to expressions of compassion and concern, as we normally only do so ourselves when we’re trying to manipulate people. So it’s with real pleasure that I hear people tell me to be careful while I’m in Madrid.

In all sincerity though, I must answer: no.

I have no desire to be careful. I have no desire for things to go according to plan. I have no desire to not be robbed at knife point, have my wallet stolen, get knifed in spleen and have to crawl my way to a Spanish hospital one moonlit night in Sevilla. If you survive, it’s a fantastic story, and if you don’t, what an awesome fucking eulogy you’re buddies will give you:

Eulogy Giver: This sunuvabitch died in a KNIFE FIGHT in Sevilla. Probably took down two of his attackers with his bare hands too, the bastard. I’m going to die wearing a diaper in a nursing home while sadistic nurses take advantage of my gradual slide into dementia. Fuck you, Vagabond.

If I do somehow manage to make it to 60, I hope I’ve got a least a few interesting scars, and possibly an eye-patch to show for it. I’ll trade body parts for thrilling memories anyday.

I’m not advocating this life choice. If you’re reading this: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Don’t go looking for trouble, there’s way more than enough of it in this world. Trouble will come to you in its own time.

I’m not going to be stupid, and I’m not going to poke angry bears with sticks. But I hope that neither will I take the safe option. Ever. If I wanted to be safe I’d stay home in New York, the safest city in the country, where I’m never more than a hundred feet from an ATM, reliable food supply, and shelter. To travel is to sacrifice a portion of security for experience.

I read once that danger is like salt. Too much will kill you, but if you give it up altogether, life tastes pretty bland.

Also I mean…c’mon. This is Spain we’re talking about. They’re going on strike to protest a 5% cut in government wages. These guys are way more risk averse than we are.

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