Monday, April 18, 2011

Starting a Political Life

I wrote a paper in high school about the election of Andrew Jackson, and I don’t remember a word of it, except that it was pretty much possible, due to a publicity machine much like we have today, for this crazy old soldier to become President. I used to know all about the Whigs and Tories, the Democrats and  Republicans who actually wanted good for the country. (YES! Lincoln was one. Hard to believe.) I’ve studied Jefferson and read Ralph Ellison, Lawrence of Arabia, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I hardly read at all any more. I’m too restless for reading. Perhaps I’ve become addicted to writing and I’m running out of time.

Once I got into Playwriting, I started my dream days. Fame would arrive and set me free. Love would arrive and set me free. Money would arrive...stop laughing. I’m 61 years old now and the only thing that set me free was Scripps Howard. Barump-bump! Laid off two years ago, and straight onto Disability. I am annoyed by the petty realities of life. I refuse to take more than 3 medicines and will stop them when I can. I see the thousands of cars driving through the streets of Montclair, from doctor, to test, to treatment. 6 or 8 appointments a week and I think I’d rather die. If the blood clot had not been so painful that I went to the hospital, I wonder if I should have taken a pass on the rest of this insanity and let this machine stop. Fear of death makes you a slave to anyone dangling a cure. Fearlessness means you can be the guy standing in front of the tank.

But I chose to keep breathing. In 1993, I had vowed to never be distracted by men again, and then, last year, I fell head over heels for a younger man, once more ending up a bruised and bloody laughing stock. But maybe I needed that. Maybe I needed to remember I am human. No more vows. Let life happen as it happens and don’t be afraid. If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. And I think (pray) it made him stronger too. Meeting real women in real life will do that, Angel. HINT! HINT!

I have no children or grandchildren, so I’m really not like most people I know, which could be a political shortcoming. I don’t own a house and I don’t have a job. But I can see clearly that something is going wrong. I can see clearly that people are terrified to fight because they need their jobs. I can see people embracing social illiteracy and worst of all, I can see racism and hatred being praised, by the kind of scum politicians who use fear for raising money and no other reason.

Like I say, I am free and best of all, I’m not afraid. Enough with the personal. Let's picket something.

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