Home > Opinions > Reveries of a Solitary Lurker

Reveries of a Solitary Lurker

By Otis Nixon

Since the days of my youth I had fixed on the age of forty as the end of my efforts to succeed, the final term of my various ambitions. I had the firm intention, when I reached this age, of making no further effort to climb out of whatever situation I was in and of spending the rest of my life living from day to day with no thought for the future. I would give the entirety of my substance over to the lives of others. I would become one with them without their knowledge. If I reached the high bar I set for myself, I would disappear from the eyes of the world entirely, but not it from mine.

When the time came I carried out my plan without difficulty, and although my fortune at the time seemed to be on the point of changing permanently for the better, it was not only without regret but with real pleasure that I gave up these prospects.

In shaking off all these lures and vain hopes, I abandoned myself entirely to the nonchalant tranquility which has always been my dominant taste and most lasting inclination. I quitted the world and its vanities, I gave up all finery–no more sword, no more watch, no more shoeshines, no more daily applications of lotion, uncture and balm, but a simple pair of binoculars and a trusty leather duster–and what is more than all the rest, I uprooted from my heart the greed and covetousness which gave value to all I was leaving behind. I gave up the position I was then occupying, a position for which I was quite unsuited, and set myself to lurking, an occupation for which I had always had a distinct liking.

All the sharpest torments lose their sting if one can confidently expect a glorious recompense, and the certainty of this recompense was the principal fruit of my earlier meditations.

I write in the hope that other lurkers, solitary though we may be, find comfort in these very same meditations; indeed, that, in the lonely yet emotionally charged hours interceding the visual capture of our subjects, we may fix our minds in reflection; moreover, that such hours spent in solemn reflection return to us during the ecstatic moments of a marathon lurk, thereby adding a new subtle color to our palette. Dare I say we achieve the rank of artist?

A lurker is solitary by profession; he achieves higher ground (and on it meets his spiritual brethren) by this very same profession.

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