Resolve to leave the civilized world behind. You are a danger to yourself and others.
But first, stop for supplies.
Find a sporting and/or outdoor goods store. Avoid eye contact and conversation with any of the shop’s staff or your fellow customers – head down and hooded at all times.
Fill your cart with trail mix. Also: a tent, a sleeping bag, an emergency radio, water purification tablets, eight pairs of socks, eight pairs of underwear, three changes of clothes, hiking boots, a sun hat, a camp stove, a lantern, a compass, a hunting knife, a multi-tool, duct tape, climbing ropes, sunscreen, various toiletries, and a backpack (or two) to hold everything…
Stay off the roads and find a way out of town. Climb a hill into the forest inland from the coast. At the very least, the trees will help clear the smell of cabbage and celery from your nostrils.
Walk through the forest for hours. Walk until the sun begins to set. Consider your options for how and where to spend the night, then stumble onto a group of campers – a friendly bunch without a hint of chop suey about them.
The campers will invite you to stay with them. As luck would have it, they’ve brought along an extra tent and sleeping bag. Exhausted and with no other options, gratefully accept the offer…
Drop by what once was the lighthouse keeper’s favorite Chinese restaurant – the only Chinese restaurant within 50 miles of the lighthouse. Order chop suey.
While you’re waiting, consider where the lighthouse keeper might have gone. Draw a little map on a paper napkin. Attempt an Internet search, but find the phone in your pocket intact, but dead. Search your other pockets to find a wallet, a credit card, some cash, and the note from the library you found so many weeks ago. Wonder why the universe is suddenly kind.
Pull your cherry turnovers from the oven and set them on a rack to cool. Fan them lightly with your oven-mitted hands.
Take in your surroundings. They are familiar if badly kept. Dust covers every surface. Cobwebs obscure a view of sand and shore from the cracked kitchen window.
Remove your apron and mitts. Leave the kitchen. Walk outside.
An abandoned lighthouse looms on the cliff, covered in brambles and low-quality graffiti. This is the place. But, you’re too late. No one has lived here for years.
Drop the façade of mild-mannered normalcy and allow yourself to indulge a few of your wilder urges today. Why? Just because.
Leave the second button of your shirt unbuttoned. Forgo sunscreen. Mismatch your socks. Drink milk directly from the carton. Order the large fries. Why? Just because.
Add fabric softener to the wash. Don’t clean out the lint trap. Push the washer and dryer against the laundry-room door. Barricade the windows. Why? Just because.
Climb into the dryer. Close the dryer door. Wait in the darkness until you feel safe. (As long as it takes.) Why? Just because.
Hop in your car and cruise your town’s ritzier neighborhoods for a garage sale.
Protip: garage sales are sometimes referred to as “estate sales,” particularly when associated with negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, or death. So, bonus points for the opportunity to ghoulishly pick over the remains of another person’s life.
Find an estate sale, park your car, and make your way through the one man’s trash that may soon be your treasure. As you peruse the goods, imagine how the items fit together to tell the story of their previous owner’s life – a collection of commemorative thimbles, the complete Jim Nabors’ discography, a burlap sack of human hair…
Skip out on work today and take a road trip to the nearest lighthouse. Once there, demand to see the lighthouse keeper. You will know him immediately by sight – a tall man with a full, but well-kept beard, a stern face with bright eyes grey like the sea, blue like the sea, fickle like the sea. His eyes are very sea-like is what we’re saying.
Fall in love…
Spend the day fretting over your breath. Is it fresh? Is it clean? Does it offend in any way? Cup your hand to your mouth. Huff a bit. Take a sniff. What does your breath smell like? Coffee, cigarettes, beer, toothpaste? What was the last thing you ate? When was the last time you ate? Where are you, exactly?