I'll start with the end, maybe that can give me some grand theme or overiding idea to work with.
The real end of Whiteclay came when I woke up at 1 P.M. today. I had slept for fifteen hours. It wasn't until than that I realized just how draining the trip had been. The driving, the drinking, the irregular meals, the sudden waves of disgust, pity, rage. We came home last night around seven. I knew I was tired, but I still thought that I could accomplish something before I rested. Start writing my account, do some homework, pick up some groceries, maybe even go to some gathering... again.
This was absurd. I browsed the internet for a couple of hours, mostly glaring at the screen. Then I had some Hamburger Helper for dinner. I ate the entire box. A couple of nights ago, I had ramen and a bannana for supper, and a hurricane had swept the nutriants from my body. Than I fell asleep at 10:30. I collapsed, with all of my clothes on, just like the night before. Sleeping on a private bed in total silence for the first time in five days. I spent at least two hours today lingering in bed, enjoying the the beauty of the silence, the clenliness of a real shower.
But why have I spent the last two paragraphs talking about myself? "This is how we live" You got your degrees and philosophies? Yes, I had running water, clean blankets, and some means to feed myself for the entire time. No internet, country people who didn't find you clever, oh how draining, oh how you suffer, you had better indulge yourself, stay in bed past noon.
Well, what else am I supposed to do? I'm the one writing this. Sorry Warren, sorry Robert, I can't really write about you, that's a skill lost to my generation. No, I'm afraid you can only be examples, kinds, types, symbols. You don't sleep in burned out shacks with no plumbing or electricity, you only represent it. we have our degrees and philosophies, but we don't live the life.
But that's what life is now Robert, not the degrees if you can get them, but certainly the philosophies. Be clever, charming, quick-witted. We have discarded your superstitions, not because wer's more rational than our ancestors, but because modern life is already intangible enough. You have sat in Whiteclay for years, waiting for your turn to die in the dirt from undiagnosed cirrohsis or diabetes, wrestling with your nightmares. (I know how Hurricane blows those in) You know that the modern world ignores you and passes you by. But you have no idea how much, none at all.