“I wanted to hear their stories.” – John Waters
Stand at any Omaha road junction, and you’ll see something typical of such American cities: car after car occupied by a single person. It is ironic that as I watch these drivers careen on within their cocoons, I am the one with the time to reflect on who they might be, what stories they could tell, where they are going and why.
Accordingly, it was with glee that I listened to the John Waters interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, as Terry Gross interviewed Waters about his new book “Carsick,” recounting a hitchhike cross country from his home in Baltimore to his co-op apartment in San Francisco. Waters was as anonymous as someone of his notoriety could be, though he did establish a rule that neither he nor his business representatives would confirm to the media that he was hitchhiking until he completed his journey. Waters said, “I never did because then it would have been – I’m giving interviews in people’s car. That would be so rude, you know? I never once took out my phone and looked at my e-mails or anything in the car because that’s rude. Your job is to talk. And your job is to make friends with the people that have given you the hospitality of the little moving house they’re in that you get to share.”
Waters explained that, “I don’t do dating sites. I don’t do Facebook. I don’t do any of that. I just thought I wanted to meet some new people, and I wanted to have a midlife crisis that didn’t involve buying a sports car or doing ridiculous things. So I came up with something more ridiculous, an adventure.” Instead of material items, we can enlist experience to render interest and meaning in our lives. Whatever form your exploration takes, travel to the edges, and create and share some stories.