An Urban Hermit?

February 20, 2005
An urban-hermit. Seems simple enough, right? I suppose the OED would have a definition along the lines of, "A loner living in a city environment who tends not to go out at night." I feel like I’m much more complicated than that. I hate stereotypes, and I often wonder how they ended up being created in the first place, but maybe I’ll leave that for another entry after this. First, my definition of what an urban hermit is, and this is solely based on who I am.

To me, an urban hermit is, like I suggested above, "a loner living in a city environment" but I’m not sure if I can agree with the second part I put down. I’m going to break my quotation down into segments so things can be that much clearer for people reading my mangled mess of words.

a loner:

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not totally fond of people in general. Let’s be honest, people are the most cruel creatures on this earth. They can also be real stupid and make horrible mistakes, they can also be real idiots when they’re drunk or high. Most are out for attention, which explains the whole blogging explosion. All in all, I really despise being around people for the most part. There are rare exceptions, but I mainly just tolerate the people I’m around. The question surrounding a loner is not "why they chose to be that person" but rather, "did they have a choice to become something else?"

I feel that I didn’t choose to become this person. There were a lot of circumstances and my personal history that attributed to me becoming someone who’s seen as anti-social. It really bugs me, and I internalize a lot of those angry feelings towards people who target me as such. I try hard (sometimes) to escape being this lone wolf individual, but it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to be someone else, to be someone normal. I don’t think I will ever escape this mental and social prison that has been created for me, but I can always hope for something better.

living:

What is it meant when people say they’re living? Does it mean going out and having fun, or is it something simpler like eating and sleeping? Where does work fit in? Is living based on fun and excitement, or survival? Did humans become too bored with the simple tasks in order to survive that they created other activities to entertain themselves? How many different degrees of living are there in the world? If I choose not to live the lifestyle of a frat-house (drinking, partying, sex, etc) does that mean I’m not living even though I’m around the same age? It bugs me and discourages me that hierarchies in life are based on power and lifestyle. Because I chose not to live the way someone else is, that person can look down upon me and think of me as lower-class. I have the utmost respect for people living in poverty right now, and I long to put people in the higher eschelons of life down into the gutter.

Back to my situation. My lifestyle, at the moment, is plain and humble. I work during the day or at night, then I come home and listen to music or read. Maybe I’ll venture out somewhere to explore, but I’m still new to my surroundings and hesitant. Seeing how I’m earning only a few hundred dollars (beyond rent, phone, etc) my eating habits are very simple, too. One of these days, maybe I’ll publish, or at least write on here, The Urban-Hermit’s Diet. Diets seem to be fashionable these days, so I think it’ll be a good route to go. My clothing style is … somewhere. It’s definitely not an urban, hip-hop style, but it’s not a touristy look, or totally mature look, or retro, or whatever. It’s clothing. It’s comfortable, or cool, or warm. I wear it because it suits the weather, not to look good in public. When I say I’m living, I’m living for myself and not trying to be up-to-date on any hot trends. I try not to be extravagent in life and keep things to the basics. That’s living.

in a

Cities are disgusting places. I’m not sure why people are attracted to such messes in this world. There’s just as much opportunity outside of the city to live a good life, but everyone has it stuck in their mind to earn money and potentially make it big. I hate it all and wish I could get rid of it (like so many other things in this world). Of course, I can’t destroy a city without damaging lives, and that’s not what I’m here for. Because of this, I tolerate cities as much as I can.

Unfortunately, in my choice of career, theatre, it rarely exists outside of a city environment. I think there are a lot of opportunities to make it grow outside of the city, but I am anxious to learn more so I had no choice but to come to a city. I suppose there are other people out there like me, but I’m sure there are many more who could be doing their job and living their lives outside of the city. What things do I enjoy about living in a city? I like the architecture, depending on where exactly you are living. Some cities are just ugly. Others, majestic. No place is ever perfect, but I wish someone could design a city completely so it wasn’t quite such a mish-mash of architecture styles and ages. I think that’s the only thing I can truly say I enjoy about cities. The smell is horrible. The noise is worse. And the people are the causes of both. Green space can be nice, but it so ironic that we now have to create our own little Edens instead of living there and going out to our concrete mansions to work. Somewhere, there are higher beings laughing at us.

who tends not to go out at night:

I’ve come to the final part of my quotation, and I think by now it should be evident why I chose this part last. I don’t go out at night because of all the above reasons. I don’t like being around people, but even if I did, I’ll never be able to fit in properly. I’ll never fit in properly because I choose not to live the same type of lifestyle as my fellow citizens. I choose not to live the same type of lifestyle as my fellow citizens, because I live in a city and can be different without consequence. Because I live in a city and can be different without consequence, I choose not to go out at night.

An urban-hermit, in sum, is a simple person living in a maze of people, noise, smells, and buildings. They don’t necessarily enjoy being in this environment, but they can never escape it and may or may not have the option to leave. Our only true escape is into our apartment where we can absorb ourselves into our work, music, and other items that we deem more worthy of our attention than the bar stars of the world and the jocks.

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