Skeletons and Drivers

What if all people are are skeletons?

Skeletons walking around our own little lives; ghosts moving about and occasionally interacting with each other. Skeleton you, Skeleton me.

Self contained units pursuing self contained goals, individually defined for each unit. Crossing paths randomly, almost uncontrollably, like plankton floating past one another in a vast ocean of possibility and time. Wave as you pass me by, or don’t. The current will keep us moving along on our separate paths. We think we know where we’re going and where we’re going to end up, don’t we. What a pleasant thought.

But we don’t control the current. The water could be cold or warm, flow fast or dry up. We all live in the same ocean, we’re subject to the unpredictability of savage tsunamis, rogue tidal waves and even droughts.

We skeletons mill about as best we can while the ocean of life swirls around us, incidentally guiding us according to no particular plans or designs. We future fossils interact with each other when the tide is right; when the circumstances dictate. At the end of each day though, we each really are only our own set of bones.

I know because my bones have their own goals, and yours do too right? Our bones are independent of each other’s; my bones have broken in ways yours haven’t. Maybe yours haven’t ever been broken at all. Your skeleton is going to walk in its own direction regardless of what mine does. Maybe our skeletons are even different; maybe you’re missing a rib or I have an extra pinky toe. How would you ever know? Even if you did, it wouldn’t affect your bones’ slow march, slow drift towards their future.

There is freedom to be found in absolute independence, but how sad and isolationist this viewpoint is. Unless…

All these skeletons’ individual viewpoints must come from somewhere right? Where do these goals that we all silently (or loudly) pursue come from? Not from bones.

What if all people are are drivers?

You can operate a car, but that doesn’t mean you are the car, does it?

Aren’t our bones, our skeletons more like cars we’re driving to get where we need to go? And who decides where we need to go, our bones? Our skulls aren’t empty; we’re not all just mindlessly motoring around. Well, maybe some of us are but that is not my point.

If this dented, beat up chassis of mine is a car, there are hands on the wheel somewhere in there. And if there are hands steering, that means they get to decide what direction I go in, doesn’t it? Somewhere, there’s a hand on the wheel and a foot on the brake. Someone’s keeping an eye on the speedometer and, if I’m lucky, regularly changing the oil. I’m not drifting along like a leaf in a river. This limited edition ’81 whip is not ghostriding. I’m not suspended in a current of life that I have no control over. I choose my path, and I can choose to either wave or give you the finger as I pass by yours. And guess what, if you wave back, we just might start down a new path together!

Maybe that means we’ll go grab a burger and a beer sometime. Maybe we’ll watch a movie or become friends. Maybe we’ll become bitter enemies immediately or slowly over time, as you get to know me better. Perhaps you’ll comment on this post and I’ll thank you and we’ll never meet each other or interact ever again.

But regardless of what ends up happening, our paths change and intertwine, even if ever so briefly. This can’t be because our skeletons just accidentally bumped into each other. For as long as we’re driving in the same direction, for an hour or a year or a decade, we’re sharing the same stretch of road. This is by choice.

Just because we as a species haven’t figured out how to control reality, that doesn’t mean that we’re helpless and unable to pick our own paths, even if the pathway is constantly changing under us.

Whether you pick the path less traveled by or the path of least resistance, or whether the ground falls out from underneath you, where you go is up to you, and that is my point.

So polish your chassis, rest your bones and check your oil (heh). If you feel like getting complacent, drift along for awhile until you refuel, but don’t take too long. There’s lots of highway out there to tear up.


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4 thoughts on “Skeletons and Drivers

  1. Jared B. on said:

    So, here I am, slacking off at work again, reading your blog. This makes 2 days in a row that BelloBitesBack has inadvertantly and unknowingly been responsible for costing my employer money. Ha Ha. What can I say, you’re a funny dude. I found these commonalities to be wierd though, especially since I came across your blog at random while seaching for pictures of antique Russian .44 calibre pistol ammo, don’t ask why, I get pretty bored at work sometimes and go off on bizarre tangents, and somehow found the severed head picture on your storage wars post. Being a bit of a ghoul, I had to click on it.

    Here is my list of demi-creepy commonalities:

    1. H.P. Lovecraft is awesome. I had a Guinea Pig named Cthulhu. Fuckin A.
    2. I spent 3 Summers as a Life Guard at Clearwater Beach, FL, I now also work in a box. My section of beach may have been a little bit more exciting in terms of pulling drowning people out of the Gulf, but I am envious of the topless aspect of your former job. Also, out of the multitude of people I rescued, I was only ever thanked by a couple. Is it possible that people in NY are actually more polite than in Florida? Whodathunkit?
    3. Surfing is awesome, but I also pretty much only surf the net for funny shit now.
    4. Spiders are evil. I have actually screamed like a little girl in the presense of my wife when one walked on me.
    5. Storage Wars and Reality TV shows are ruining the world.
    6. I love bacon.
    7. Most of my family lives in upstate New York. They mostly live in a little craphole town called Ogdensburg, which is in St. Lawrence County. I was in Watertown about a year ago and I can attest that Watertwon Traffic is fucked. So is Tampa traffic where I live. It’s like Watertown, but all the old people that used to live there moved here.
    8. I also have no idea what is at the top of the Spanish Steps, but that is where I proposed to my wife in 2008. I found Rome traffic to be truly the worst in the world (and I’ve been to Vietnam, not as like a soldier or anything, I was born in the early 80’s, it was on vacation. I almost died on a scooter. Funny story…)

    Is it not truly bizarre that some people that are roughly the same age, think in a similar manner, share similar experiences, and probably have a ton of other crap in common; people who would never even glance at each other if they met in person, could be, if even briefly, brought together by something as random as a google search for pictures of an obsolete calibre of pistol ammunition?

    In any case, good stuff. Thanks for the distraction from reading contracts for a bit.

  2. Damn dude, we’re a little bit like a cross-doppelgangers. I feel a little bit like Jet Li in the mediocre movie The One; I hope this doesn’t mean we have to fight now haha.

    I’m honored to be such a distraction, though your employer may not agree.

    Haha it’s super bizarre, but pretty sweet too. Let’s chalk this up as a relatively rare ‘good karma’ moment for the internet.

    I post sporadically and the posts are usually pretty random, but it seems like you’re picking up what I’m putting down. Stay tuned for more dude!

  3. Jared B. on said:

    Will do, Subscribed.

    No fighting required. Also, the One is an awesome movie.

    My employer likely could care less what I’m reading as long as the work somehow gets accomplished. The company doesn’t have any web filtersor anything! (is that even what they’re called? I’ve never had to deal with one) I tend to deligate most of the drudgery, leaving me with wide open spaces of time that I’m required to be at my desk but honestly have nothing productive to do. So I sit around and absorb knowledge, useless facts and hilarious random stuff from the internet. No joke, I went through ground school for my private pilot license while at work. I may start on an online masters degree program some time.

    A good internet karma moment indeed. I look forward to reading your next one.

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