Two years before I set out on the road trip that would change my life, I wrote a collection of essays named “Ved’s Philosophy of Shit, Volume 1.” In it, I speculated about deep and profound things that were, of course, untested. The pages overflowed with clever things like #31: Life, as a population, will take care of life. By that I meant that if one were to subject himself to the perils of anonymity, if he left everything he “needed” behind and placed himself in the hands of strangers, their kindness would keep him alive.Long before actually becoming that stranger awaiting a ride at the on-ramp, thumb up, I began telling people that it was undoubtedly true. I was certain that despite #7: Generational Moral Decay, the overwhelming theme remaining in strangers was kindness.Ved’s POS #61 clearly and definitively states: Most situations are a matter of interpretation. I smile now when I read that. I remember the quaint little coffee shop I was in when I wrote it. In those memories I have of authoring such groundbreaking bullshit, I can still hear poets reading snappy little poems while stylish, late-teen, early twenty-somethings strolled through, nodding their heads in concurrence to the poet who was defining the world in iambic pentameter.Without the expectation of a long life, I stepped into that world I’d already defined. Bravely and even optimistically, I put my feet before me and left it all behind. Maybe I thought I was enlightened, maybe I thought that the drugs would numb me …“Ved’s Philosophy of Shit, Volume 3” looks remarkably different today. Essay #100, the final entry, is titled, “Don’t Read this Garbage, Nothing Matters.”I am Ved Ludo, and I really was beautiful once.