By Kyle K. Mann
Here it comes in a few weeks: age 64. I’m retiring from the film biz, where I have been a Hollywood Union stagehand for a quarter century. It’s been fun, but I’m done.
I am not going to live in some brain-deadening community and play shuffleboard. No, the next stage will be something I have been plotting for years: Gonzo Retirement.
Before I joined the International Alliance, I had a life in radio. I could travel to places like Acapulco and get a decent job making English language commercials. Now, with a modest pension, I can go to even better spots where I can swim in clear turquoise waters and not have to work if I don’t want to.
I’d define that as freedom, or in my case, a well-earned Gonzo Retirement.
Hey, if I find a gig I love, I’ll take it. Radio, writing, playing music on my terms… Sure, why not? Otherwise, I’ll indulge in daily swimming, hiking, bike riding. I wanna do what I wanna do!
Three countries stand out as I look to establish a base of operations. I’m looking at Panama closely, along with Costa Rica. Third choice is Nicaragua, which is the cheapest to live in but perhaps not quite as safe. But it’s still a lot better than El Salvador or Guatemala, not to mention Honduras, a country badly destabilized by Obama’s thugs, who overthrew the elected government there.
Leaving the USA is a Gonzo Move, in any case. I confess to having a bellyful of our politics, and see no one to vote for. That’s a lonely feeling. No hope, America. There will be another warmonger at the helm, and it’s all over except the shouting, which is obnoxious.
There’s also the goddamned Fukushima radiation drifting our way. Going south on this Gonzo Quest will reduce exposure, increasing the likelihood of an extended lifespan.
I’m looking forward to massive volcanoes, jungles filled with amazing creatures, and delightful waterfalls of various sizes and shapes. Yes there will be bugs, possible disease, and inconvenience. But the Gonzo Road is not for the faint of heart. I will relearn to grin at adversity.
Gonzo Retirement really means this: I’m not retiring, I’m moving on to a new phase. And as I sit here writing in my cozy home, to be forsaken for the unknown, I have a cheery grin. Aging is a state of mind, and I have seen amazingly active people in their 80’s and 90’s who haven’t slowed down a bit. My goal is to reach that state as well.
I need my heart to soar and my eyes to shine, to meet people of all kinds, and make new friends and acquaintances, to taste things unique to my experience, to thrill with the joy of existence, to live to the fucking fullest!
Bottom line? e.e. cummings:
“listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go”