|Ramblings from Oregon|
Monday morning you sure you fine, Friday I got travelin’ on my mind, first you love me, then you get on down the line, but I don’t mind --- Fleetwood Mac
This neighborhood loves blowing shit up. Fourth of July starts around mid-June, the first day the firework tents go up and ends perhaps a day or two before the next blow em up holiday.
The dogs start getting jumpy at sundown when most of the big bangs go off. I was off to trader Joes yesterday afternoon and I saw three kids, the oldest maybe six, the youngest toddling away slowly from the freshly lit roman candle, middle of the day, no adults in sight. If I was Darwin I would have had to stop and watch and make notes in my journal. As it was I was glad I didn’t witness any loss of limb or life or I would have3 felt obliged to stop. There’s a theory that once a mandatory reporter always a mandatory reporter, though, honestly, spanking your kid in a supermarket is an offense demanding report, letting him blow shit up without supervision isn’t; it’s just stupid. It’s the kind of stupid that leads you to suspect all kinds of other stupid happen in that household on a regular basis.
Sure, I was a kid, I liked blowing shit up, we had the good sense to have the bad sense to be discrete about it 1) Not do it in our own driveway 2) not do it where adults might stop us. Without going into that tired new old saw about not wearing helmets on bikes or knee pads on skates or any of that other shit that sort of says we were kings of danger and today’s kids are pussys, I walk a fine line on the subject of negligence, but here’s my warning and message; If the parents aren’t watching the kids blow shit up, what else aren’t they watching? And, too, I suppose, what sort of red blooded American doesn’t want to be a part of blowing shit up? What’d they have to do that was so important they didn’t want to watch, if not for shrapnel in a kids eye or watching the baby’s paw turn into pink mist, just for the joy of blowing shit up?
I went and read a few things this morning. I felt I owed womaninthemoon a note in a roundabout way and I wanted to see what the one kid was up to, he reminds me of a very similar kid (claims 28, but writes like a kid) on here a few years back who was always going off about either his girlfriend or the damn un-American Americans against the righteous war on terror. I kept asking him why he didn’t enlist.
Not worth going into my observations but the tie in is after a really horrible poem he admonished ‘everyone’ for not celebrating today, the real day of independence not the fourth. Pardon the scenic route here; when I was a kid in the mid-sixties they started this thing in Ann Arbor, a town built around U of M, where once a year, thousands of students and other malcontents would gather at the diag (a large common field on the campus) and have a Hash Bash. Thousands of kids smoking marijuana and playing Frisbee and discussing how bad the war sucked and racism and squares. The idea was that if I cop caught three of you smoking dope, you were going down, if all the cops caught five thousand at once, they’d have to arrest all y’all or leave all y’all alone. Two sound pieces to that 1) Kent State had the cops a bit gun shy about crowd control and 2) Defense attorneys would use the reasoning that the cops had it in for their client, picking him or her out of five thousand (either that defense worked once or the DA was afraid it might). That roundabout point is; if the fourth is when 200 million celebrate independence and the second is when one does, well, you see where I’m going. The other point is most national and religious holidays are on convenient dates and not accurate dates. If you pick out one you’re obliged to bust the other five thousand. If you’re going to quibble about the day, you might as well quibble about the year, declaring war isn’t the thing you celebrate, winning it is when you celebrate for, among other sound reasons, you might not win and then it’d be a sad celebration. Sort of like the French Revolution; a day of releasing prisoners, a week of beheading the aristocrats too stupid to run away and then getting your asses handed to you isn’t a revolution. Hence Bastille Day and not Independence Day.
I honestly don’t know or care whether it really is the second or the fourth, I’m pretty dang sure it wasn’t over until something like 1783 and the battle of 1812 was still sort of an extension, the suburb of the war if you will.
Womaninthemoons entry asked for opinions on spirituality and the soul. There were a lot of them. I am a shitty OD friend. I followed a series of links to get there. I’m bad about visiting my OD buddies.
Oh, I wrote something yesterday afternoon with some loose ties here, other things happened, I didn’t finish it, but here it is anyhow;
So I woke up, patted the sleeping dogs on their warm little heads, turned on the coffeemaker went to the bathroom, smoked and enjoyed indoor plumbing as one enjoys it in this or any other age, returned to the now warm coffee maker, slapped a cartridge in, made a cup of coffee, popped a pain killer and wrote my morning tripe. This is a routine with minor variations, in the short term most of the variations gastric in nature, in the long term the manner in which the coffee is made. There are other bits even less worse mentioning than using the bathroom and/or expanded versions of the same thing (e.g. Oh, you’re awake, what a clever boy(s). Anyone need outside, raise a paw. What (a) clever lad(s).)
Often by eight o clock in the morning I have smoked at least three cigarettes, drank at least one large mug of coffee and written, if not posted, one OD entry. On exceptional morningsI’ve smoked and drank more and written something of value or at least something with testicular and/or ovarian fortitude. This is the best of all possible fortitudes as these organs and/or bits are vital to our existence and fragile, part and parcel of our drive’s both empirical and figurative, and has the added benefit of being, perhaps a bit offensive to the sort of person I believe is most in need of being offended. Even more exceptional of a morning would be the one where I am still asleep at eight o Clock.
This morning was routine enough to approach the impossible; a statistical norm. Then I went out and had a very small external adventure and a very small internal one. I went to the gas station to buy cigarettes. The lady greeted me exactly like this “Carton? Hey, you like country music?” to which I responded something very much like this “Yes and ah ummm--- not the top 40 stuff, no twang and losing the truck or slide guitfiddle politics.” She handed me three cards anyhow. Texaco has some sort of promotion that involves giving away country songs. I didn’t ask for an explanation and she didn’t offer one, we had a few more words shouted across the bay as she ran to stop pumps, collect money and start new pumps. We kind of like one another, not romantically, but in the kind of if a fight broke out we’d automatically take each other’s side, the sort of hand holding during the apocalypse way. So whatever we were shouting across the bay had something to do with how we still thought the other cool even though we were talking about country western music.
My next stop was Arbys because I had a coupon and because the dogs would just as soon eat a gray roast beef jr as not eat one. I was parked at the window while the window lady and the sandwich guy sort of flirted with one another and put things in bags. Directly in front of me about two hundred yards away was an American flag on a high pole. As the wind picked up and the sandwich guy was saying “ … didn’t you get my text?” I noticed that the flag was ripped in three different places. I pointed it out to the lady when she handed me my bags of dog food. She pretended to be interested and made a frowny face.
I had a mundane thought that tried and almost succeeded to become a profound thought. I was trying to figure out why it bugged me so much. I thought that if they had done it on purpose to protest war or symbolize the current state of the nation I’d probably be ok with it. But, for some reason known only to me, I was positive it was just an accident that they probably didn’t even know it was ripped. That really bugged me. Protest is healthy; it means you are paying attention, negligence not healthy. Negligence is perhaps what got us here to begin with. See? Perhaps not profound, but as far as trains of thought go that one at least had left the station. Some folks assume when I tell them I was a social worker that every case involved some horrible bad guy, some pre-meditation of some asshole who should never have been a parent. Honestly it was very rare that both parents were abusive and not particularly common that one parent was the cause. At least half the cases involved negligence, which the person responsible for the health safety and well-being of the child wasn’t paying attention and then tried to cover up the fact that they weren’t paying attention and then continued to demonstrate an unwillingness to learn how to pay attention. I honestly prefer a bad guy with bad guy integrity (that is to say an admission of bad gayness, not this wishy washy sometimes I do bad things shit) that neglect or apologies for neglect using that ugliest of excuses; but my intentions were good. It’s as bad as an excuse as; but I was drunk. Good intentions mean fuck all without actions and you were drunk because you drank a lot of alcohol. I’m just saying, better off not to fly a flag at all if you don’t pay attention to it’s state.
So I get back home, insist the dogs are good boys, ask them if they want a treat, tear up some grey roast beef for them, sit in my chair and turn the TV on. I caught the newest remake of Arthur, the one with Russell Brandt in it. The internal adventure was --- not important. Just that some people, and I don’t mean TV people, I mean real ones, confuse childlike wonder with childishness. The one almost an enlightened state of being the other a selfish and self-centered lack of maturity. I finished my own bad for me luncheon of something-with-bacon and jalapeno poppers and turned the TV off. In the Disc world series Terry Prachett says that the phrase “may you live in interesting times” is a curse. Fantasy is best when it mirrors reality with that sort of precision.