29 May 2009

The loneliness of the lone long distance driver

As I mentioned in this post, every now and then I try to imagine what it would be like if I ended up being the only person left on earth. The first few days would probably be exciting as I went around doing anything I wanted to do with absolute freedom. It would be kind of fun. I wouldn't have to wash the dishes or do the laundry to begin with. Anytime I needed something clean, I could walk into a store (or a neighbor's house) and get it without having to pay for it or feeling guilty about it. I could ignore all the traffic lights and speed limits and park my car in the middle of the road. Imagine that!

And then, loneliness would set in.

Once I realized that I might never see, touch or talk to another human being, because there were none left besides me, I would probably gradually descend into a state of delirium.

On the other hand, one could never be sure that there still wasn't another person left somewhere on earth.

How could you possible know that you were the only person on earth? As long as telephone service and electricity were available you could attempt to make random phone calls or get on the Internet and search for signs of human activity. Perhaps you would run across a blog post from a few hours ago or receive an e-mail. Even an offer for partnership from Nigeria would bring tremendous joy. Imagine that!

But once the electricity and the phone services got cut off due to lack of maintenance or some other reasons, the only way to establish contact with anyone who might still be out there would be by physically searching for them.

Since there would practically be an unlimited supply of gasoline for a single person, one could get into a car, any car, and start driving around in hopes of finding another person.

The hope of finding someone else, perhaps in San Francisco, or Peru, or Singapore, or Istanbul, could possibly help me maintain my sanity. How would someone, who was not much of a sailor and who couldn't fly a plane, cross over to Asia, though?

The next post in this series is here.


xoggoth said...

When I have similar fantasies, I am thinking about ways of ensuring that somebody else out there doesn't find me.


I won't be looking for you then.

Grisham said...

I think my first priority would be to locate a functioning generator, water and/or fuel supply, and ensuring that I do not run out of these essentials, at least for the near future.


Well, yes, of course, food & water would be the top priorities. But then again, a well-stocked super market would have enough dry & canned foods & bottled water to sustain one person a year if not more.

Frank Anderson said...

I've thought about this, too. To get to Asia, you'd obviously have to head up to Alaska and, yes, you'd have to take a boat. Theoretically, it might not be an awful trip. It's about 55 miles across at the narrowest point, and the Diomede islands are in the middle, so maybe you could take a break there. If you had a decent map and a GPS unit (and the GPS system was still working), and you could figure out how to drive a boat, it might not be too bad.

Of course, in practice it would be much harder. You can't drive to Wales, Alaska (which looks like the closest inhabited point on the U.S. mainland to Russia), and there isn't a port there anyway, so you'd have to take a boat from somewhere else anyway.