Sunday, August 28, 2011


A lump of clay, a nation, a young person. A philosophy, a temperament, an environment. We all have to start out somewhere. The stage is set. Some turn to friends. Others to learning, maybe clubs and activities, becoming leaders and followers. And invariably there are those of us that turn into ourselves.

Juche ideology has been dubbed as North Korea’s middle finger to the world. Melodious chants that decry America notwithstanding, they’re in it for the haul, going it alone in Orwellian bliss. Proles starve if they can avoid the work camps and the Pyongyang privileged justify it for the cause. Outsiders cannot partially-photograph the Great Leader’s graven image as people cry out in worship before him like a tent full of holy rollers. Ahh but we all have to start out somewhere.

The green idealist, naive, intellectual yet insecure and socially unmotivated, with an appetite for apathy, is no stranger to the ol’ bunker hunker in a world that doesn’t get it, with little more to offer than sneers and grinning idiots with their lameass comments.

At church they tried, more or less, to teach us the righteous path, yet, in the end the choices are all our own.

Sometimes even those who love you don’t have the full picture.

Sometimes we bite the hand that feeds us.

Sometimes we throw out the baby with the bathwater.

After all, how would the Wizard of Oz have turned out had Toto never gotten curious about what's behind the green curtain?

Every revolution needs a leader, even an unlikely one standing at 5-foot- something. Purge the dissidents. All associations deemed a threat to her reich were hereby annulled. Funny how surrealism takes a while to sink in.

I had gone into isolation a few years before so why not now? Sure is hard to live in the moment when your head is so well furnished.

Dad took a video during a snowstorm just after Christmas, and as the eyes witness it piling up outside the ears get a conversation with my mom, oh how confused and withdrawn I had become. Later on he evidently asks me to climb atop a two-cord stack of firewood and throw some off for the garage. Ground zero in the year with two eights. It’s all over my face, wincing to aim for the pile eight feet below, within eyeshot of someone’s house that I had betrayed just a month earlier, carelessly opting instead to place my trust in someone who had simply not yet earned it.

I answer Dad's questions bluntly, with few words. Jonestown party of one. If the punch don’t kill ya it has a bitter twinge that lingers in the mouth for years if not decades.

Still, we all have to start out somewhere.

Over time her music becomes my music, her friends become my friends, her worries become my world until the second wind gradually picks up, the cold war thaws a bit, and eventually there’s no choice but to drop my assumed sense of duty and walk away with what I still have left.

Freedom can be a vacuum at times, but then, some things are worse than emptiness, such as never letting go.