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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GRUMPY OLD BASTARD ASSHOLE


Rain all day, sometimes big rain. Wind. Yellow leaves fly through the air on the way to the ground. This year, the trees with the yellow leaves turned first. The trees with red leaves are largely still green. We'll have an extended fall color season this year. First yellow, then orange, then red. The color change is so particular year to year, I wonder how it can be said what weekend will be the peak time or what kind of a coloration it will be. I don't recall but one prediction being accurate, the year the talking heads said it would be a poor year for color. It was a dry year. The leaves just turned brown. I pay little to no attention to predictions for what kind of winter we'll have. Already, I've seen two projected forecasts for the winter. One said it will be long and extra cold with much more snow than ever. The other said it will be the mildest winter ever. Winters are like Nascar races: impossible to predict. We've had four days and nights of dense fog accompanied by sprinkling rain, until today when it poured in torrents. It's on the verge of tiresome. Yet, no matter how muddy the ground gets, I prefer wet to ground so dry it cracks and the springs dry up. Springs are largely dried up anyway. So many exurban houses in the landscape draining the underground water. Wells have to go deeper and deeper. The society of waste comes to the mountains, drains the water, poisons the land, dismisses as ignernt hillbillies the people whose home this land is, impatient, intolerant, wanting everything now, just like on tv. I was about to compare it to white people pushing the Indians off their home continent, killing them by the millions, and say the exurbanites are all but killing us. But, they are killing us with cancer. County government doesn't care. The ones poisoning us are paying more taxes than we are, so we have no voice. 


I'm seeing an experience a few weeks ago when I was introduced to someone I already knew, though wished I didn't. She looked at me, nodded and turned away. I said in my head, Thank you. A few months ago in the coffee shop I mentioned to a woman I was talking with at the bar I watch Nascar races. The one above who nodded, who I was not talking to, said, "They just drive around and around in circles," smug, proving she's more sophisticated than I, doesn't waste her college-educated intelligence watching working class tv shows. I wanted to be vulgar, nasty vulgar, the kind of vulgar that makes an enemy for life, though condensed and softened my response to, "In the very most minimal way of looking at it, yes." Her nose shot straight up and she was gone. Again, I said in my head, Thank you. Made an enemy for life without even trying. It hurts so good. Such moments remind me that I left the city for the mountains to get away from people like her, the white middle-class suburbanites. Now they've packed in around me so tightly I am glad the Republicans are squeezing the middle-class into the working class. I actively despise how they regard and treat the mountain people. I told Selma at the beginning of the coffee shop that when the right people find this place, I'm gone. Turns out, Selma was Cuban and the right people stayed away. Now Becca has it and she's run off the wrong people, so now I go in there and all I see is the right people. I have no reason to be there. The people I used to go in there to see have been run off. Not high end. Not PC enough. The end came when a country club woman in there said to me, "I bet YOU voted for O-BA-ma." I said, "Sure did. He's a sharp stick in the Republican eye." She said, "I'm a con-SER-vative!" I thought, duh, and said, "I'm a SO-cialist!" I don't want this kind of conversation, ever, anyplace, with anybody. The coffee shop is past tense for me. Another one of those moments when I get with self and say, I didn't come here for this shit. 


The fun part in saying I'm a SO-cialist, she told within a few days everyone she knows that knows of me, he's a socialist. Hooray. Five or so people I never want to meet will see to it for me. I don't even have to think about avoiding them. They avoid me first. I'm pretty sure I have a name for being arrogant among those people. I can easily give them cause to call me much, much worse. Recalling a line from a Steven Segal film. A woman warning him about the people he's going up against, they're bad, really bad. He said, "I'm worse, much worse." And a line from Runaway Train when Voight was told he was a beast. He said, "Worse. Man!" That's how I feel in the company of people that look down their noses at the mountain people. I want them to call me arrogant. I want them to call me as bad as they can make it, inspire the people they talk to to avoid me, so when they're introduced to me they nod, turn away and think: asshole. Alas, I have some neighbors, the most openly fickle people I can think of, fake from the surface to the core, totally informed by tv, Republican, Christian, who once wanted me to be their friend. Didn't last long. Didn't get started. They really tried my ideal of loving neighbor as self. The closest I can come is to allow them who they are, recognizing we do not connect in any way. I'm old enough to know from repeated experience that attempts to go against the recognition never works, leads only to hard feelings and another cluster of enemies, their gossip circles, for life. An aunt passed to me something her husband told her when he was living, If you don't want it started, don't start it. Confucius could have said that. Often I am called to remind self of original purpose coming here, none of it social. 


Talking with my friend Jay at Chris Cox's reading at intermission, he was saying he has too much going on, too much he's involved in, it's stressing him. I said, Man, you don't need that shit. You live on a mountain. Get to know your mountain. It will be your friend. I mentioned that I've had spells of involvement in more than I was comfortable dealing with, going to meetings. Periodically, I've had to pull back to the people I care about who care about me and let the rest go. He's not of that kind of temperament. I didn't want to tell him to do as I do, because my way is not his way. I only told him how I've solved the issue for myself. Not to say do it my way. Only to illustrate how I chose for my own circumstances. He will find his way according to his own circumstances. I wouldn't want to influence him any other way. He's not as comfortable yet with being disliked as I've become. Or so I guess. It would not do for me to advise him. He has good brains. He'll figure it out. I just wanted to say he can find a solution to his satisfaction. If I were to hear myself start a sentence, you should, I would have to do penance for at least two days. First thing I'd do is retract everything said, immediately. Then I'd go inside to the place that sentence came from and educate self again that I have no right, any way I look at it, to presume to know anyone else's should, when there is no should to it. I can't name my own shoulds, sure as hell can't name somebody else's, especially when I don't even believe it is a word worth being in the language. I don't, and would not, rule the world, so I just don't use the meaningless word. When I don't use it, it's not in my world. I feel like I've found a good balance of involvement / non-involvement that keeps me engaged without stress. It has not always been this way. It comes from allowing the flow and flowing with it. Now that I think I've found my own flow, it feels really awkward when I step outside it. I have to pull back into it. As I get used to it, it becomes easier to keep in tune with and easier to jump back into when distracted out of the flow for a period of time. The flow is in my center, feels like solar plexus is where I connect with it. In my own flow is where I belong. I want for nothing else.  

photos by tj worthington


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