My 4th of July started off rather optimistically, as it was in the company of a rather lovely young woman of whose presence I have recently come to enjoy. Having misunderstood a text sent on my end regarding painting, I was suddenly volunteered to assist her in repainting her kitchen. The misunderstanding was that when I said I had been painting that weekend, what I meant was for fun…like stick figures on paper…not painting ceilings and walls and shit. Nevertheless, if the opportunity ever arrives where you could be painting a kitchen with a woman that reminds you of Mary Stuart Masterson in her prime from “Some Kind of Wonderful”, don’t fight it. Just go.
I have to admit as someone empathic and able to feel the emotions of another, her arrival into my life narrative is quite the breath of fresh air. One reason is that she is an Aries and exploding with energy and determination, which means that her presence has electricity to it but not the fear of God kind. The kind that charges you up if you know how not to let it overload you. The other reason is a little more complex to explain but very easy to understand. You see while the two of us worked at priming and painting her kitchen, in clothes fit for a mess, up and down ladders with specks of paint in some places and globs in the other; we related the summary of our life stories to one another as people getting to know one another will do. I have to admit that this process gives me, a Virgo writer, an extremely unfair advantage as I can glean your entire psychology like a computer by the story you tell and how you tell it… but I swear to you that I only use my powers for good.
Her story, like all our stories, could be perceived as a tragedy if the points of trauma and shortcomings are taken into total account and focused upon. However when she got to the parts that most people choose to dwell on or live in; the ghetto of the mind when life was horrible and so were we, she summarized it with a “whatever” or other single, flippant word regarding the bullshit. For what some might consider impossible to get over, she was shrugging those details off with little more effort than “can’t change that stupid shit, so anyway…” and we were off to the good stuff. The positive stuff. The heroic stuff. This was no damsel in distress standing underneath the drip of the extended paint roller going across the ceiling. As the time went on past the wee hours in the morning I have to admit that while I had a broad and general idea of who she is as a person through conversation and observation, I was still having trouble putting my finger on the core of her character. The prime directive of her very being or what I call the Selfie of the Soul. That one snapshot of someone, frozen in time that encapsulates who they are and why they are here on this planet. Not everyone has a Selfie of the Soul, especially if they are internally poorly written in character; but I knew she had one somewhere it had just yet to be revealed.
Leaning against the truck outside around two something in the morning, having called it a night with the painting, she talked about her job which just so happens to be male dominated, and the frustration she feels when she works as hard as she does and still feels the snide, underwhelming critiques in her abilities from male supervisors. Don’t get me wrong here, she was not pointing out that the critiques were coming from males; in fact I think she was honestly oblivious to that notion. I am telling you as a male, that what I was hearing, was that the harassment she was getting had nothing to do with her job performance as much as it did cock-hurt coworkers intimidated by a capable and determined female doing a man’s work. I wanted to help her draw this conclusion that it was probably because she was a woman but wanted to do it in a subtle and discreet way. So I asked her “Hey, do you maybe… think that it’s because you’re a woman?”
She smirked with minimal shits to give and said, “Yeah. Probably so. But you know what, I don’t care. I don’t care if they say I take too long on a job if I do the job right. And I don’t care if they say that I ask too many questions because I ask those questions so I know every little detail about what I need to know to do what I need to do for our customer. You know what I mean? I go to work every day and really, really care about the people I work for and want to make sure they get treated right. Like they matter. Not try to do a job as fast and cheap as you can to shut them up and make some money for the company. The company is the people the company serves, you know, not dollar signs in a bank somewhere? That’s not right to do to people and I won’t do that so I may ask a lot of questions, I might spend an hour more than others educating the customer, but you know what? Whenever the customer service evaluations come in every week I get the most and the best. Now, I got one complaint about my shorts being inappropriate last week but I’m gonna tell you something, when I go to work I do the middle school rule, and my shorts are most certainly at my fingertips, thank you very much. But that guy was like 90 so really for him to go through all the trouble to even report something so stupid just means he has a personal problem that aint got nothing to do with me, no how….” she barreled on with increasing intensity and fully animated in front of my truck. As the passionate demonstration of her discourse soared into a crescendo, the size of my eyes followed suit. This in itself was like watching fireworks, I had thought.
All of that lightning surged into her forearms as she ended her dialogue with two upraised, and triumphant fists on the hood of the Silverado and said lastly “…I just want to be the best I can be at anything I’m doing…you know what I mean?” and her face tightened into an explosive smile like universes exploding away from one another and spawning the cutest dimples ever underneath worlds of blue-green eyes. Her expression hung there, frozen in time on that genuine intensity and SNAP… her Selfie of the Soul. I did not attempt to conceal just how much that tickled my brain but did not realize how obvious I had been until she asked of my silence a long, drawn out “what?” The only reply to that query was a slowly shaking head that ended with a loaded “…nothing”. One scene skip later and I am standing in the doorway of my study at 3:33 A.M. with a paint stained, Spider-Man handkerchief mopping up my fingertips. As I suddenly craved listening to some Goodnight Texas Radio on Pandora, I ran the movie of the evenings events in my mind through the projector of my soul, picking apart the details the God of the All wanted me to experience from it. While doing so a pop or two from fireworks a block over reminded me that it was Independence Day and I couldn’t help but nod at the cosmic lesson I was supposed to begin to learn.
America. Land of the Free and home of the brave, as they often say. Sweet land of Liberty, or so it’s told. The public education system would have us and generations to come building the foundation of our memory palaces on this being the greatest country in the world and in doing this they are quite effective. To a very impressive degree there are scores of spirits across this land that without examination of the facts of the matter always fall back on their belief in ‘Merica. But of course one doesn’t have to look too far to find opinions of the opposite end in waves of protests that America is indeed the worst country on the face of the Earth. A quick check of social media and the posts thereon will give you a good idea around holidays to a patriotic nature as to the pulse of this nation; some ignorantly proud, and others angrily misinformed with shame. It’s a mixed bag, that’s for sure, between flag wavers, inverters and burners.
The team sports guys are all painted up for Team America, the soap opera fans are posting prayers for the fictitious president, the statists are thanking troops and law enforcement for keeping Eurasia safe, the anarchists are speaking about politics (which is sort of not the point of anarchy if you really boiled it down but whatever) and the people I know to be Liberty minded are simply posting the video “America, Fuck Yeah” to make their point for them and going about their day. I probably would have done that, but this year I decided to simply observe others on the 4th of July rather than observe the 4th of July. I had this sneaky plan about writing an article about it later but to tell you the truth I haven’t really decided if I will or not.
AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!
On my way to the cemetery to pop in for a chat and a smoke with my dad, I ran into a gas station to grab a tea, as is my usual custom. Like many gas stations, the place was owned and operated by individuals with a darker complexion than most in America, funny accents even by southern standards, and funny looking gods in pictures behind them. While I am witness to many ignorant interactions between Hindus and Georgian’s, they always know that I am one of them at heart when they see my Ohm necklace or see the twinkle of Krishna in themselves by the reflection in my eyes. So, freely and truly we speak with one another.
“America! The greatest nation in the world, yee-haw!” I smile with an exaggerated drawl as I place my tea on the counter to be counted and wink at the cashier.
The elegant and proper Indian mother behind the counter returned my sarcastic smile as she bagged my drink and replied “That is correct. There is no place more perfect and good, nor has there ever been.”
“You got that right lady! And if the world don’t like that we will bomb the living shit out of them until they start to like it. The whole wide world.” I shot back.
“Yes. The whole, wide, world. This is very good.” She smiled.
She and I were only allowed to share the laugh internally as we both looked around us to see, as expected, shirtless, sunburned, flip-flop wearing slack jaws with a case of beer dangling from all their available fingertips. You could have mopped the floor with the drool. That’s fluoride in the water for you.
“But to tell you the truth I am of the believing that America might be in everybody else’s business just a little too much.” She lowly iterated.
“Ya think, do ya?”
“Yes I do. Very much so.”
“Keep the change.” I said as I made my exit.
Slowly rolling, in true cemetery fashion, through the “garden of heroes” where the remains of my Father’s physical shell resides, another aspect of America permeated around me. Wafting, tiny, flags of red, white and blue fluttered the silence of death my way like hands waving a patriotic warning. The warning was that when you pledge allegiance to a flag rather than the idea behind the flag you will fall for whoever is waving it, as many of those beneath my feet most certainly had. My Father had not fallen in combat and for that I am thankful due to existing and all. No, he was fortunate enough to live long past his service years to discover that his youthful and ignorant patriotism with a rifle in one hand and blood in the other had been at the expense of suits he would never see or hear an explanation from. His disdain for having been deceived served as a warning to me in the phrase “If I had known then what I know now, I never would’ve signed up, son.” It wasn’t the fighting, the killing or the death that had been regrettable for him. It had been that the reasons he and his generation had been told the fighting, killing and death were necessary didn’t pan out at all for the protection and furtherance of Freedom and Liberty; just games that politicians play with the young and ambitious.
Soldiers are used as pawns in the game of war for the benefit of the watchful masters in this country and around this planet. Henry Kissinger will never let the acute ear forget those words and conscience dictates that when heard, those words must be spread to any youth prepared to sign on the dotted line of a recruiter’s clipboard. America has not been a party to a truly noble war in many, many moons (as if war is noble in any way to begin with) but manages to continue herding the young and unlearned bodies into their ranks to be stripped of most identity and programmed to do so and so because so and so says so and so…sir. I cannot take the blame of perpetual wars off the shoulders of people in the American military, save the Navy, completely. It is not the fault of the intended bullet sponges that our world is rife with false flags, lies, deceit and subterfuge in order to maintain the working gears of a fully functional military industrial complex. Once a soldier commits to being property, they kind of have to dance with the one that brought them, so to speak. However what I can blame them for, and so should they be blamed, is for being ignorant. For not knowing essential principles as Americans that actually forbid them from participating in a standing, appropriated army two years outside of the conclusion of declared war, per the Constitution, unless they like happen to be on a ship on the seas or stationed at a port. For the most part they believe they are indeed fighting for this country and its Constitution, they just do a whole lot of trusting from the generations above them that this weird policing of the world with entangling alliances all over the place which ultimately results in dropping bombs on brown people’s homes is how it is supposed to be done.
Someone reasonably smart once said that wars will cease when the youth stops enlisting for the military and refuses to fight. That’s probably true, but before that happens the youth are going to have to become enlightened as to what America actually is supposed to represent, what she really is beneath sheets of the flag and the slightly pained smile on her face as opposed to what the corporate United States of America presents to us; which just so happens to be a chicken-head, crack whore winkin’ at you on the side of the street. This version of the American corporate whore is now permeating in internet no-nothings that figured out how to turn their webcam on and have no problem uploading their twenty minute tryst with a fistful of dollars as they brutalize the entirety of the essence of America via the United States corporate whore. They rant about all of the horrors and atrocities done in the name of America and lead the viewer to consider self-flagellation for even being an American. They quickly say “we” did this and “we” did that, therefore America is a wicked country only fit for despots. They pick at the game show political process that gives us game show presidents and breaking news via twitter and rope others into considering abandoning the idea of patriotism altogether. While I am not excusing the poor actions, sometimes even atrocious actions, of those who may call themselves American; I would respectfully decline to identify them as true Americans.
After having completed my physical and metaphysical errands for this most recent Independence Day, I thought it appropriate to sit on my front steps for the show after the sun took its journey to the underworld. As “I’m Going to Work on Maggie’s Farm Forever” echoed in my home, the bombs began bursting in the air all around me in this ‘go get em’ air force town I find myself in. Colorful explosions of light filled up the sky as I lifted my tea upward to the true face of America; not the underweight, dark eyed, stringy haired, manipulator on the street corner of corporations with snagged and ripped stockings. America cannot and will not sell herself for cheeseburgers and big gulps nor be content to survive at the expense of her back for foreign oil and opium. That is not America. That is a trifling, tramp parading the name like a used up stripper or carnival skuzz. She works for the pimp in the alley with a pearl handled pistol and overcoat with company logo’s patched on from bottom to collar. I do not honor, respect or celebrate the cheap slut that wants to fuck the world while wearing red, white and blue and look forward to the day that she either retires or is found lifeless in the crust of a dumpster. It may sound cold, but that is not my America.
Let’s face it, deep down and inside of each and every one of us is this unquenchable desire to be Free. To have Liberty to experience our lives as we see fit without oppression, persecution or aimless restraint. Even for those who have been thoroughly brainwashed in public schools, prisons or cubicles; a twinkle of desire for Freedom and Liberty can never be completely extinguished. This desire has been written in our hearts by the Creator’s hands, whatever we may have come to call our Creator. Freedom and Liberty to have unfettered experience which makes harmony with others and the All is the very nature of reality itself; existence itself. The Freedom to simply live in a way that makes one, or all happy is by every rationale I can tell, the point of this whole thing we experience called life. It tends to want to ebb and flow in the direction of expression rather than oppression. It seems to push forward those who navigate its universe with bold and fearless aspirations of breaking through the boundaries of thought and form. It tends to rescue the strong that often defend those who cannot defend themselves because like them, Life knows that the only thing that really matters is Freedom; and Liberty to ride upon. While we may surround ourselves with “things” that we believe give us Freedom let us not fool ourselves into forgetting that the only Freedom that counts is the one we can dimly see in the mirror; the individual, not the collective of atoms that make up anything or everything else. The spirit inside us, the essence of the divine that we may sometimes ignore but can never really deny. That realization is what makes an American.
The idea of America is indeed pure and it is foolish to think that she can be defined with flags or borders or politicians. She is a virtuous principle of do no harm, live and let live, friends with all, entangling alliances with none. She manifests in words and documents throughout the ages and helps to articulate her meaning and for us the Constitution is one of these documents. Those at the pen all attest to the divine providence guiding them and the resulting articulation to the fact that power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely and the only thing fit for government is chains. It is sad that government has been thus allowed to rise to its feet but that is due in fact to We the People not securing the restraints that have been provided. It says nothing of the chains or the quality of their craftsmanship but speaks volumes about our unwillingness to learn how to use them. Perhaps in due time, Lady Liberty, will have to discard the garments of the Constitution for an update. Perhaps something more appropriately tailored to the waistline and bust of our age with a subtle slit up the side will come along at the appropriate hour but until then; the last vesture of Freedom happens to be the Constitution of the United States of America. So to that…ka-boom.
Even the word America might one day fade into history not so synonymous with Freedom and Liberty in the years ahead; nevertheless there will always be Americans if by another name. The idea, the principle will always be behind the eyes of the individuals bold enough to embody it. Souls who endure the careful scars on their knuckles as they punch through life, accept the things they cannot change or waste time whining over days riddled with misfortune and mistakes behind their back. It’s the souls that rise to the challenge of a tilted playing field, that stay in a constant state of home improvement with personal development booming from their chests as they refuse to say the word victim… ever. The spirit of America is in all those souls that dare fill their fists with electricity and declare to themselves and the universe “I just want to be the best I can be at anything I’m doing.”
A SONG TO PLAY US OUT…