Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Trying to think of things to say to mom and dad that will make them take a shower. Years ago they would say things to me to get me to take a shower. My hair, my skin, all dirty and smelling bad. But I resisted many times, I refused to become socially acceptable, at least where odor was concerned. My teen aged son refusing to change his clothes, to change his underwear, finally being forced by threats to become clean again, for awhile. Could I threaten mom and dad with a whupping if they didn't get in there and shower? A saucy goose in the gander? Don't know, but I doubt it. Trying to get people to come clean is not always easy.

Politics. John Dean, a doctor, a governor, lost the election by yelling. Trying to be heard over a crowd, trying to cheer people up. Dennis Kucinich lost the election by making sense in a non-soundbite manner, by not having a face the cartoonists could easily parody or a name the talking heads could easily pronounce. They claim my grandchildren will be up to their ears in debt because of the tax breaks on the rich and the mounting cost of killing foreigners. I don't expect to have any grandchildren so the joke is on them. One child is in a coma ward, locked inside his body, unable to speak or move much. Very unlikely he'll be producing any grandchildren. One child is in school, surrounded by art and lesbians and geeks. Fairly likely that she'll not be breeding anytime soon. So the joke is on them. Money represents labor and a trillion dollars represents hundreds of billions of workers working one hour. You couldn't fit that many people on the head of a pin, so the joke is on them. George wasn't supposed to become a politician, wasn't supposed to be given the job of spending that money, starting those wars, breeding and producing those drunken young women. We noticed that all the President's women had crossed eyes, or bulging eyes or tiny, mean eyes. None of them had big blue soft kind eyes. What kind of a man is attracted to mean, tiny eyes? What kind of a man wakes up every morning to those vacant, close-set eyes and that thin, whining voice? The kind of a man whose friends and companions refer to baby parts as "messy". Flying grandchildren, bloody arms and legs, all those cocks and vaginas, wombs and balls.... flying bloody thru the air to land unused and unusable on the sidewalks of foreign cities. Messy indeed. Like a nightmare which wakes up screaming at the children, "Get into that shower and clean yourself up!" Hard to come clean when it's a bloodstain on your hand. Out out damn spot, rub don't blot.

I don't remember walking down the sidewalks of Haight Ashbury, smelling the sweet smells of American capitalism. The perfumes from exotic places where we now sweep the blood into the gutters and pour water over the stains. The pale blue smoke of the soothing drugs which made you smile and eat a pear, from exotic places where we burned the blood off the trees and built on top of the ashes. The crazy ladies, smiling with blackened eyes, speed dosed lovers warning them not to talk about it and the smoke from the pipe easing the pain. So expensive now to ease the pain, so hard to come up with the cash and the deal. It seems important to spread the pain around, to insure that only the rich poor can afford to smoke the hash, to ease out of the pain. We've taught the children well, how to lock and load, how to first use diplomacy and then the bombs and the guns, to not appear weak, to not back down, to defend their beliefs with guns and threats of bigger guns and the court appointed attorney. How much better a world our grandchildren can expect, a world where money counts as labor and body counts come as fast as lotteries. Everybody is keeping score, everybody's hands are tied to principles, principals and interest. Special interests, special rates.

How to get your parents to come clean? Threats never worked, examples never worked. We don't live in a country where coming clean is valued. Not like Japan where the people bathe en masse, not like Rome where the people came clean in public, even shit in public. We need more public showers, wheelchair safe so the broken bodied lower rungs of society can come clean. Wheeling into the showers provided by the state, they close down the doors of perception and settle in, awaiting the sound of water falling, of quiet murmurs of relief. The bodies can be donated to medical schools, but what if we run out of students? Then I guess it's the ovens, cleaning up a messy world, a crowded world, my parents world. In Haight Ashbury we bathed in gas stations and covered up the smell with exotic oils.

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