So. Labor Day has passed and I find myself deeply troubled with the labors of my country. In watching all the ballyhoo surrounding the entire Syria fiasco, I’ve come to realize that there are very few honest men or women left who are willing to run for public office, or who are willing to serve in offices of public service. It seems that each and every person who either has a Congressional vote, or an opinion that we should value as it relates to this Syria bullshit, is a liar. A prevaricator.
And don’t even start with me about how it’s all just “spin”, and we need to be cautious when discussing a delicate public issue. In my eyes, if you know what you are saying isn’t true in its essence, you, dear friend, are a fucking liar. Don’t nuance my ass, tell me the truth. This is a semi-democratic republic and it is we, the People, who need to be making decisions.
And speaking of the truth, I’ve found myself a new source for my news—a source that it seems from early viewing that I can trust. I can’t spell it yet, but I can watch it without questioning each and every word. I hear two sides of stories and actually get to watch a reporter question the words of “authorities” who spin facts into misunderstandable pabulum. If you’ve tuned your TV to watch Current TV in the last several weeks, you too have caught sight of my new news source.
On the phone yesterday, when I told my mother that I had started watching Al Jazeera America to get my news, she went all apoplectic on me. “Wh… Uh… Well, I… Uh… You’ll burn in Hell, Mooner. How can you do this to me?”
“Maybe so, Mother, I’ve started wearing foil undies to get acclimated to the heat” I told her, “and why does everything I do reflect on you? At least I’ll burn with the knowledge that I died with some actual fucking facts about Syria.”
“Oh please, Dear God, don’t tell me that you don’t support a Syrian war. This is the first thing that Muslim murderer from Ethiopia has gotten right. Are you going to tell me that you disagree with me on this, when I finally agree with Obama?”
I pondered Mother’s question carefully to organize my thoughts. I felt it was important to give her a precise answer. I took another full minute to gather, sort and emphasize the words. “You bet your bigoted and wrinkly old ass I disagree with you. This Syria business stinks from end-to-end.”
I heard the deep, martyred sigh that has been Mother’s go-to preamble to any emotional display. I heard it a second time—a sure sign that I would soon hear the words, “I don’t know what I did to deserve (fill-in the blank).”
“Why doesn’t the Good Lord just take me right now—I’ve suffered enough. I just don’t know what I did to deserve living my life with such disrespectful children. That’s the first question I’ll ask Sweet Jesus when I finally lay to rest.”
“Would you ask Him for me does He fold or is He a baller, Mother. I’ve got God’s answer, but maybe Jesus can give me a definitive answer.”
I’ve had a personal debate about which is truly the best method for wiping my ass. When I asked God that one time, She told me the answer would come to me in the end. Ever since I was a post-rape teenager, I have carefully folded my perforated sheets of papier de toilette and swabbed my quite attractive ass in much the same manner a maker of fine cabinets would file the burrs off rough-sawn birch planks. My psycho therapist has long told me that the precision of my personal ass hygiene habits lies in my desire to cleanse my mind of the entire experience wherein my Baptist deacon Boy Scout Leader laid hands on me on my thirteenth birthday.
Me, I think it is my desire to display my ass to the world that spurs the etiquette, as I see a dirty moon as a wasted effort. Nobody wants to see a 6’4” man lower tobacco-stained white cotton undies to display a cut and dyed depiction of the American flag with a couple brown stripes.
Mother’s response to my question was to hang up on said, and same, gorgeous ass. Can’t blame her. And why, inthefuck, is Microsoft Word telling me that my use of the capitalized word “She” to describe God’s words is a mistake. I’ve met God, I know of what I speaketh. OK, maybe that should have been “of which I speaketh”.
As far as the Syrian dealio goes, fuck Syria, fuck World opinion, fuck John “There is no Such Thing as Too Much Escalation” McCain, fuck Rand Paul, and I must say as well, fuck President Obama. One of the reasons I voted for him is because I believed him when he said that this kind of intervention—this Syrian shit—is not something he supports or would ever.
But he lied. Obama lied. Not a real surprise, but a disappointment.
And that reminds me. I was at work and I got a call from my next door neighbor—a comely woman of extraordinary nosiness. She likes to take my mail from the box at the street and place it, carefully, on the rocker that sits on the front porch and behind the great wall of Casita Johnson de Santa Fe. “Mooner, there’s quite a pile of mail today. You’ve phone, American Express, New Mexico Natural Gas and City Services bills, and a fat and lumpy envelope from some man back East. Another Johnson. Is he your cousin?”
“Not every Johnson is kin, dear lady. Although you could say that every person with a johnson is my brother.”
“Huh?” her first response. “Oh, for shit sakes, Mooner. You really are an asshole.”
I hung up with the wondering as to just what kind of lumpy surprise my buddy Beej had sent from Tennessee. After ruminating the possibilities, I settled on either a pulled pork sammie from this one place he drove me within thirty minutes of my first arrival in Murfreesboro, or a really fat doobie of Tennessee’s finest mountain-grown. My final considerations were that it would be a small doob to make me extra hungry for the mailed pork sandwich, and I went about my very busy day.
Day finished after dark, I arrived home late to find both dogs sitting at the front door with looks of consternation plastered to their faces.
“You’re late, shithead. Yoda got so hungry he’s already eaten a cabinet door and most of your plastic containers from the shelf behind the door. I had him puke that appetizer into your basket of clean underwear.”
“I’m sorry, Squirtie girl, but I’m crushed at work right now. Let’s get you fed.”
I placed my laundry back in the washer, put the first serving of their kibbles into their bowls and picked up the mail I’d grabbed from the porch as I walked in. The letter from Beej was in the middle and made the stack of envelopes cant awkwardly. “Did either of you take a sniff at this letter today? Smell anything interesting?”
“Fuck you, Mooner. You’re lucky I didn’t tell the goat dog to eat your mail.”
I put the Postal offerings down and fed them the rest of their meal. I retired to the office to check email and then opened the lumpy envelope. Inside was not the treats I had expected to find. It wasn’t animal or vegetable nor was it precious metals of valuable bonds. But it was the most dear gift another man has ever given me.
Inside was a small gold lapel pin of the number 6. The significance of this pin lies in its meaning. Starting back in WWI, fighter pilots watching the rear of a comrade pilot would tell him that, “I’ve got your six o’clock.” Meaning that I have your back.
The note with the pin said simply, “Friend, I’ve got your six.”
“Why are you crying, asshole. Oh, no, has somebody died?” Squirt asked. “Please don’t tell me something has happened to Gram.”
“No-no, sweetie, everyone is OK. It’s just that Beej has managed to bring tears to my eyes with five simple words.”
Have you ever noticed that it’s the quiet men who can most impact your life. It isn’t the yacky assholes like me who make any great difference in peoples’ lives, it is, rather, those solid men of few words—men who speak with great thought and care—who make real impact.
I find myself felling unworthy of this honor. I’m lacking. The only true repayment of his gift is to tell him that I’ve got his six as well. But in the telling, I know with absolute certainty that my six is way better covered than will be his.