The first time I stayed in a party hostel, while in Spain, I was amazed at the assembly of international youth. They were inquisitive and laid back, making it effortless to start a conversation and have a friend for the day. Trying to hook up with the Belgian or German hostel girls added another dimension to the fun.
I stayed in similar hostels when I went to South America over a year later, but it just wasn’t the same. The hostel kids began to seem too alike, too stale. The girls weren’t prettier than the locals. I saw them as hippies with questionable hygiene. I was never able to duplicate the fun in Spain with any other hostel I’ve stayed in.
The first time I tried to crack the code of a country’s women was in Argentina. I joined forces with many men to accomplish the task, laboring day and night. After a month of frustration, I had sex with a girl—only one. Yet it was an incredible feeling of achievement and sexual conquest that I’ve never felt again with the same intensity.
The first time I went East, to Poland, was after four months in Scandinavia of interacting with women who weren’t all that different from American girls. The sexual feast I was presented with surpassed everything else I had experienced in my life. Even now I don’t believe how motivated and full of desire I was for the several months I pursued these women, because when I went back to Poland over a year later, the energy was gone. The desire was diminished. There was no way that experience would be duplicated.
Once every couple of months, a song is released that captures my interest. I listen to it repeatedly for days, enjoying the emotional pleasure it gives me until that pleasure eventually stops. The song becomes background noise that I barely notice. I take a break from it, and then play it again, but it still doesn’t give me the same high as when I first discovered it.
Experiences can be mechanically duplicated, but the pleasure gained from them can not. The first time I slept with a girl using the Russian language only, I felt on top of the world. The last time I did so, it was just another hard-earned notch. The first book I released gave me a rush of accomplishment. With the last book I didn’t even give myself a pat on the back. How much I pity the man who banged 50 girls in Thailand, for he can never again feel a high with women. How much I pity the man who sold a business for a couple million dollars, for he will never again feel reward from his labor.
I long for the innocence that is forever lost upon success, because the more success I’ve had in life, the less I feel, the less dreams and hopes I have left. Innocence gives hope. It gives the anticipation of a great feeling, a valuable reward. But once a specific feeling is achieved just once, it is gone. Only shades of it will be felt in the future. The numbness increases every year, the apathy sets it, and all that’s left are the memories of experiences that gave you a feeling you can never again feel in the same brightness.
I’ve met men who haven’t experienced 20% of what i have, but I see the fire in their eyes, and I’m jealous, because they have a long journey in front of them, while mine is considerably shorter. Too much innocence was lost, with no worthy goal before me that will match what I’ve already done. And it’s for this reason that if you offered me a pill for everlasting life, I’d immediately refuse. We’re all given enough time—maybe too much time—to take the best of what life has to offer.
Yesterday I walked through the city, full of malaise, until something caught my ear. It’s a new song. The melody is smooth and it pleases my brain. I get the name of the song and eagerly await playing it in my home at full volume. It’s something to give me feeling for a period of time, a very special period of time.
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