Hope

“I have become Shiva; destroyer of worlds”J. Robert Oppenheimer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMbATaj7Il8Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild

According to my new best friend who chats me up at the gym between grunts squatting enormous weights; the only places folks socialize here are at churches and bars and since I frequent neither, except the latter if they sport pocket pool facilities, I’ve considered getting a gig to dilute the isolation. My buddy told me most of his life story in quick time this afternoon, as is their wont here; (30 years in Hawaii working for the airlines he says). The best part was he lives in a place even more remote than me and has in the past 30 years had the hair rising experiences of encountering three separate incidents with mountain lions.

I’m intrigued but not anxious to meet anything higher up on the food chain than me. I could carry a gun when venturing into the woods but I haven’t shot another sentient being, so far anyway, and I’m not about to start now. It’s not that I don’t possess the killer gene. I did hurt someone’s feelings once in a debate, but I sorely doubt any meat-eater on four legs with razor-sharp teeth will be intimidated by my razor-sharp repartee. I like the guy since he trades in self-deprecating humor. Like his response to a friend who said “well then, you live where people have long hair and no teeth”; to which he relied, “yea, that’s me”.

There exists a factory, which judging from the number of cars in its parking lot has around 100 employees, which lay not a city block from my bunk. This is definitely ironic to say the least since I’m situated five miles outside a two-mule town so rural that it boasts the distinction of having the only two traffic lights in the entire county; an area of 853 square miles (of which 810 square miles is land and 43 square miles is water).

It’s a death plant; manufacturing ordinance, munitions, gentle euphemisms for bullets and bombs of one kind or another; the sorts of heinous shit that’s designed to kill and maim and some would argue protect. Thus its positioning in proximity to nowhere makes sense since if it blows I’m probably one of the few human beings, along with the employees, that’ll have my space instantly morphed into a crematorium, transforming me and them into a gas and as dead as fried chicken.

So despite the boredom I’m laboring under and the fact that they are hiring and they sell to the U.S. Military and other friendly governments like Israel and the fact that bidding and administering government contracts is right in my wheelhouse, so far anyway, I’ve been unable to pull the trigger (pun intended) and apply for a position. Being instrumental in contributing to the creation and distribution of these obscene kill toys, regardless of the fact that if I don’t someone else will, is I surmise, just too much bad karma for me to overcome; that’s unless god is a compassionate woman and turns out to have one hell of a sense of humor.

I resist the inclination as well since I’m a proud member of what was supposed to be the known as the greatest generation, a title usurped by our fathers, and we were groomed to be such. They would have let us have it all, do anything we wanted, if, and we didn’t know it then, we would only ignore the war thing. But we were modern-day Siddhartha’s and once those castle gates swung open and we saw the conditions of those a world away catching hell, primarily in Viet Nam, forged from a history now embedded in our DNA from our nostalgic American Indian genocide slaughter fetish in the name of manifest destiny, our consciousness and conscience could not swallow the turd. So once the fat cats decided the peace craze would not blow over and unchecked we would eventually win, which we did temporarily, my generation was assassinated; murdered in its sleep.

What was lost on us at the time and what we learned from the genocidal blood-letting that left JFK and Bobby and Martin and Malcolm and Medgar and the Panthers and all the rest with their blood on the sidewalks beneath them in graveyard streets America and their brains on their shoes and our psyches mangled beyond repair, and what’s not lost on our prescient chocolate Jesus, is you can bend the curve of history towards justice in any area you wish; most leading to an improvement of the environment and equal rights and dignity for all men, but give them their damn war cause’ that’s where the real money is. More than anything else, in spite of the smokescreen news coverage would have us believe; this, for them and us, is what this election is about. If Romney prevails; Iran is toast.

The billionaire Republican backers, these men in the shadows who can tell us who our enemies are but are never the ones to fight and to die, those greedy and vicious wealth obsessed masters of the universe, know the most profitable entitlement of government lay in its war powers, the authority to organize and bring the nation to war, and they are chomping at the bit; fueled daily by the incessant, antagonistic and jingoistic rants of William Kristo and Charles Krauthammer, the most virulent hacks in the service of our war vice and The Weekly Standard’s top shitheads, can best be described by reaching back to use an old Sicilian saying. “These (war profiteers) would rather eat their children than part with money; and they are very fond of their children”.

We’ve seen this movie before and it summarizes why I cringe at the reverence of, and reject the oft rendered worship my brethren have for, the concept of hope. Despite the fact that I had a son born in 1968, a hopeful event that thanks to LBJ kept me from fleeing to Canada in lieu of being shanghaied to Asia to join the kill crazy circus, I had all my hope vaporized back then in 68’; now some fifty years ago. As a result, in my view, once you’re down to hope things are damn near hopeless anyway. Hope alone is toothless. The Marines have a saying for those that say they wish for something; wish being the soul-brother of hope. “Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first”.

It was a bitter pill to swallow and a hard lesson to learn; but I’d seen enough violence, not only in the streets of Chicago growing up, but on nightly 6 o’clock news reports direct from the battle fields of south-east Asia, to last me a lifetime and I have a visceral hatred for it. What’s kept me alive more times than I can count is the realization that you can’t win them all and sometimes you just have to declare victory and depart the field. The whole world of peace-loving people OM style chanting the word hope will never stop a bullet; just ask John Lennon.

When I hit a new town or city I seek out the highest point available to get a glimpse of the vista and hopefully the curvature of the earth; a quiet place where I can get a sense of the aura of the place. In Oakland shortly after arriving I hiked (on acid) to Inspiration Point way above Memorial Stadium where the Cal Bears play and only then while viewing all three iconic bridges and the magnificent panorama could I get the pulse of the Bay Area; since down low where all the people are generating mania, their energies drown out natures natural rhythms and the true vibe of the place is dissipated.

There are no high points here on the Great Plains but there is a full moon tonight and it’s as good as I’ll get for a pseudo warm blanket of contemplation on the great question we all ask ourselves most days no matter what place we find ourselves deployed; the answer being described as the definition of genius; and as I search for it tonight it rings in my ears; “what should I do next”? It’s late and I am weary; so I’ll just climb into my custom mattress-ed, flannel sheeted, down blanketed cocoon; and dream on it.

 

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

One Response to Hope

  1. James Mcfarland says:

    Soul searching ride, powerful political message, reader becomes a falcon gliding in flight 8.8 rating

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