Ask Old Jules: Unique traits, Loner or Hermit, Animal Rights, Is life what you expected?

Harper, TX 2010 123

Old Jules, what’s something unique and strange that makes you, you?

I’m a hermit getting along towards 70 years old living in the middle of nowhere in Texas. I talk to my large flock of free ranging chickens and my four cats. I don’t listen to the radio, don’t have a television, and I once almost went an entire presidential term without knowing who was prez. I became a private pilot by buying an airplane, hiring an instructor, firing him when I got sick of his antics and soloing myself. I had more than 500 hours logged before I ever applied to take an FAA test ride and get a license.

Old Jules are you a loner? If so, why did you decide to live this way? Are you ever mistreated and/or rejected by your family and neighbors who think loners are odd people?

I’m a hermit. I might be considered by others to be a loner, though I’m not. I’m a sociable person when I’m around sufficiently few people.

I’ve been out of touch with my family, some members for a decade, others for several decades. I heard recently my 90 year old mother died, but felt nothing when I heard it. I don’t know whether my dad’s alive or not. I called him up on the phone 15 years ago [first contact in 20 years] to wish him a happy Father’s Day and he hung up on me, which was okay by me.

I doubt people think I’m odd, though I do think they are. I need to go at least several days, sometimes a month, between seeing other people just to keep my head on straight.

Old Jules do you believe in animal rights?

I think I might believe in animal rights, but I’m not familiar enough with what’s going on in the world to know.

I’ve never bothered to think it through, but as a practical matter, I kill anything of any species that threatens my cats and my chickens, including the occasional feral domestic cat, and pretty much leave everything else alone. When I have to kill a coyote, coon, or something else I always chop it up and feed it to the chickens. I’ve never yet had occasion to put a human being into the mix to test my resolve.

I do occasionally eat meat when I can afford to buy it, and if I went a longish while not being able to afford it I’d probably kill one of these deer I’m forever running off with a slingshot to keep them out of my chicken feed.

Without trying to nail all this down into a philosophy it seems to me it represents a behavioral code.  I’m not sure if it’s accurate to call myself a supporter of the current animal rights philosophy.

Old Jules, has your life been what you expected? If not, in the end does it really matter?

I don’t believe I could have ever imagined much of it ahead of time, but it’s a smile and it’s been a constant adventure. When people talk about being bored I file it away as something to look into next lifetime to see if it’s as interesting as not being bored.

I don’t believe anything about this lifetime is going to end unless I manage to figure out how to do it right so’s I don’t get into the same set of challenges next time around. The prospect gives me a strong motive.

4 responses to “Ask Old Jules: Unique traits, Loner or Hermit, Animal Rights, Is life what you expected?

  1. I love this sentence: “I’m a sociable person when I’m around sufficiently few people.”

  2. I like the idea of having to do it right this time around so he doesn’t have to come back to the same set of challenges the next time. Makes me want to fix a few things in my life.

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