"Shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy." - From Howl by Allen Ginsberg
My brain is scrambled. Eggs. There are screws loose. Women. I have such mental torture. Chamber.
But what is there, really? What have I got? Can I find some happiness/solace/satisfaction/contentment out of anything? Isn’t health and family enough or do I really really really need something more? Can’t I just sit back or lay back or stand back and enjoy the moment?
Moments are such bullshit. They lie to us. Tell us that everything right now is fine and that this all we have. This right now is a gift and we should swallow it whole and rainbows will shoot out of our orifices. But that’s all a lie. We are soon to face other moments, ones riddled with pain and doubt and discomfort and ineluctable sorrow.
We are guaranteed nothing by anything and there is no god. Some of us are “blessed” (why have I come to hate that word so much?) with the incredible gift of sobriety or a daily reprieve from the ravages of alcohol and drugs. So fucking what. We get to be “normal.” Like that’s so great. Oh joyous me, experiencing life on life’s terms. Well you know what? I don’t like life’s terms. They suck. The mind crippling idiocy of daily life drains us of the vigor and energy that we borrow on until we’re too old to function, let alone care.
I was a child once decades ago. Playing in backyard, climbing trees, catching and throwing balls, reading comics and eating candy. A stupid happy child with torn pants and a dirty shirt and tousled hair. Living in moment after moment not knowing a goddamned thing and not caring a whit. But even at that I knew this was a raw deal. I’d seen enough of my mother’s crazy to realize that we were being fed a load of garbage. There was no justice, there was no comfort. There was no answer.
When I was nine years old the president was killed. See, right there I knew you couldn’t trust the country. I knew politics was a sham and we’d been set up. And when this great land of ours sent young men to the Vietnam to get their dicks blown off because some idiot thought that dominoes had some sort of relevance to foreign affairs, well that proved what a con the USA was.
The history was a big fucking lie too. How the hell did Colombus discover America if there were people already there? Even as a pipsqueak I saw the man behind the curtain. You trying to tell us that non white non christians don’t count as people? Well nobody said it but that’s a pretty fucking clear implication. The government goddamned well stole land from the native tribes. As an idiot kid I could see that. And slavery? Really? Land of the free, everyone equal and you’ve got people in chains being bought and sold and whipped and raped. I didn’t know the word yet but I could suss it out — hypocrites. It took a goddamned four year war to put an end to slavery. Not that it was much of an end what with 100 years of that asshole Jim Crow ruling the roost in the south. I was dumb enough to think that Jim Crow was a real guy but plenty smart enough to see that America’s black people got royally screwed and the screwing was by no means over. I watched the news. I saw blacks in the south getting clubbed and having fire hoses blasting them all to hell. I read about Civil Rights workers getting killed by crackers. I got it.
I had hope for awhile in my early teens. We could change things. The Beatles were proving that everything could be cool and fun and meaningful and we could dance and make progress. Then King was shot then RFK was shot and fuck it. There was no hope. Two months that dashed the dream. So you’re inspired. You see political leaders who can make a change, improve life for everyone. Make the country what it should be. Well, boy we’re just going to have to shoot those fuckers so you understand what’s what. Then came the Democratic convention in Chicago and the victory of Daly’s bullying political machine and the beating of protesters and the seeming end to reason.
A few months later Nixon was elected president and all doubt was removed. The worst of the worst was the most powerful man in the country if not the world (just as bad would be coming in later years). What the hell was going on to our cultural and political revolution when the ultimate square gets elected president? Made no sense.
Six months after that I started getting high. I started smoking. I was ready to be hooked. My own dear ma had emotionally abused me and had added alcoholism to her insanity and the country I lived in was an evil bastard and I was on my own as far as that goes.
I went to demonstrations. I ran from cops and tear gas and national guard troops then I saw a helicopter overhead spraying tear gas. This was being done in the name of the police. State. My own government was attacking me from the skies. Screw those bastards.
And Nixon initiated secret bombings in Cambodia because America can do what it wants to who it wants where and when it wants to and if you’ve got a problem with it well then fuck you, buddy.
By the time I went off to college and really started drinking I had no sense that there was any justice in the world. Watergate had to be the least surprising thing that ever came along except for the fact that it was outed for the whole world to see. And ya know maybe this'll lead to some changes. Government corruption will become a thing of the past and reporters will be our heroes. Yeah right. The 1980s were ushered in by the election of that totally evil bastard Reagan who’d already done his utmost to destroy California in his two terms as governor. Now he was going to have eight years to screw up the entire fucking country. Another backslide for the country. More proof that in the US chickens are forever coming home to roost.
Fast forward to today and there have been gains and victories and achievements and my life has not been at all bad. But there is also a large bloc of blockheads in this country who want everyone to have guns, who don’t give a shit about poor people but want to protect the rich, who think that global warming is a hoax because scientists are congenital liars and these ass bites are homophobic, misogynistic, racist, xenophobes. A disturbingly large chunk of this society are no different than the melon heads who whipped slaves or joined the klan or participated in lynchings.
But what. I don’t know. You plug ahead and make the most of whatever you’ve got and wish there was a god so that someone could smite some of these dumb motherfuckers. You wonder at the pain of it all. You can’t cry because you’d never stop. You look for some light and hang on to whatever joy you can because part of you is still in that backyard playing with toys and looking forward to watching Huckleberry Hound. Why not.