Strange times in the land of plenty as the Mexican mystery man El Nino fucks with the thermostat while the land lord sleeps. I’m sweating and hot, it’s November 14th, something isn’t right hoss, and everybody feels it. A movie dealing with the predicted end of the world is tops at the box office as doomsday and revelations are marketed and sold like a going out of business sale that never ends. Everybody needs to make a dollar before all the dollars are gone.
After 11 months I’m back employed in the strangest of jobs in the gravest of times in my strange and excessive life. End of life real-estate in a bone yard of salvation is my new home of corporate servitude. I’m now just another piece of a machine I don’t care to help run, but I’m without options like so many other Americans searching for security long undercut by Mexican labor and Indian ingenuity.
Anybody who doesn’t think these are hard times are either wealthy or stupid or probably a combination of both. Hours are being cut, jobs are being cut, and salaries are being cut, and the gaping wounds are now in plain sight for everybody to see. There is no outrage or outcry since everybody is in the same sinking boat looking at the same ugly scars too big to cover up. Nobody wants to bitch and moan in the company of the rest of their broke brothers and sisters standing without shame in the welfare line. Indifference is death, and the end is near.
With my new job I witness a lot of caskets going into the ground. Most of it I can take but every time the American flag covers a casket and is folded up and presented to the family on behalf of a grateful nation I tear up. I don’t know if it’s the love of my country or a deep sadness in knowing that kind of patriot is dead, and not many more exist. America has been counted out before only to rise strong and spit into the face of all the fuckers who wrote us off and counted us out. I don’t know if we can get back up as change is sweeping the land in drastic ways. To be honest I feel the same about my own life.
Things are tough and there are parallels to depression of the 1930’s and the stumble of the 1970’s. I’ve always found something about those depression aged faces that told a story of the REAL America, and who we are. They through their hard times came out with a wisdom that propelled the country for decades to come. It was their toil that made us great and their sacrifice that forced us to become strong. I’m proud to be a broken down broke American watching from the bottom praying to climb to the top knowing damn well I’ll never get there. In these lessons of no credit, no respect, and no hope; I hope to one day instill and inspire greatness to future generations. If I’m the lesson and the example of greed then it was all worth it.
I feel like I’m watching the world burn like Nero safe from a distance only I didn’t start the fire nor can I help put it out. Beside the water is taxed to high, in short supply, and the hose isn’t long enough –not the first time I’ve heard that. Once you let the shitty feeling of hopelessness pass by, all that’s left is to enjoy the view. Pop some popcorn and sit back and watch the colors as they fly through the air. Fuck’em if they can’t take a joke.
I have less then just about everybody else around me, but that’s ok. It is after all simplicity that defines me --I’m also ok with that as well. Complicated people with complicated lives seldom have anything but complexity structuring and steering them right into insanity. Sure I’m crazy, but to quote the late great Waylon Jennings, ‘it’s kept me from going insane.’
Thanksgiving is coming up and that is my favorite holiday in this entire world. When my mom and I hit rock bottom and we were living on borrowed time in an apartment without electricity or food, rooming with a Viet Nam vet who would have nasty flashbacks until he passed out in his own urine and vodka; a tradition started. Dan Chin a friend of mine from school asked me to join his family for Thanksgiving a selfless and charitable act of true Americana. Since then I have always taken up the kindness of friends on the 26th of November. I’ve sat with many different families all over the state in all periods of my life, and never once has anybody’s family (often strangers) made me feel anything but welcome. I love it and it reminds me that humanity still exists and love and charity isn’t just attached to buzz words like hope.
The one thing I’ve been forgetting to do lately is to love myself. I like being pulled under by the undertow, and gasping for air as it excites me. I like being near death and laughing at the boring folk in the shallow section. It’s been a rough few months but the danger is starting to bore me and the safety of the shallow end is becoming more and more comfortable and desirable. I do love me, and it’s time I concentrate on accepting that feeling and letting it carry me back to shallower water.
There are moments when I walk right down the center of the road while traffic zips by and I hope a speeding mass of steal tears my body from its limbs and my soul from myself to the warmth of death. I’ve found myself suicidal and wild eyed in the last few months going on almost a year now. It’s true that truth has caused me more pain than fiction. But right now things are starting to look up, even if just slightly. Sometimes slightly is all you need; just as a simple scratch can cure the biggest of itches. Slightly and simply is enough to keep on fighting this losing battle of Alfred Ferdinand Larcher III versus life. Mouth guard back in, swelling reduced, take away the stool, here comes round '10.
DING DING DING