Saturday, February 27, 2010

Multiplication Problems

Wilson: "You always find some tiny little flaw to push people away.... I'm talking about every woman you've ever given a damn about…


Weirdness is in the air these days and I know it. I can feel the heat of the Summer sun, intense, blinding, life-sucking, destructive heat, deep inside, but I haven’t been warm in weeks, or months. I feel the blistering radioactivity, and I wonder if I will ever been warm again. It’s like my body has surrendered to the idea I will always be cold and this odd scorching memory is an Alzheimer’s reaction to a different part of my past, a false feeling of comfort, a temporary respite and a sign of madness.
I’m going back to night shift next week but only for a week, and it’s a short project, but one that can only come out at night. Boring stuff, do not ask, but it will give me some one on one time with a near full moon, and get me away from other people for a while, which I need right now. There are spells I go through where almost all contact with humans is nearly painful. The full moon is rocking right now, drawing the Loki Mutt out, and oh that’s what I need is one more animal in this house who overreacts to moonshine. Did I mention it’s cold here? This winter has been winter for weeks on end. Oh screw that “It’s minus ninety where I am” because I really do not want to hear it, okay?
There has to be a way around shopping. How can there not be? How can food, the very building blocks of our lives be left in the hands of people who cannot so simple math? Is there not great peril in this? I went into the store to get two items, just two, so how big an ordeal could it be? Of all the luck, not only is there a High School reject manning the cash register, but an off duty cashier, still in uniform is trying to buy what passes as food for her kids. First, a back-story; the off duty cashier was sixteen or seventeen when I moved here but now she’s in her middle twenties. She has three young kids and this job is the same job she had when the first one was born. Now, she and the other cashier is trying to whittle a pile of junk food down to how much money is left in the off duty woman’s back account. There’s marshmallows, sugar coated cereal, a gallon or so of soda, three frozen pizzas, a loaf of white bread, and some canned food, and a can of hair spray that looks like a fire extinguisher. Remember that scene from the movie, “Terms Of Endearment” where the guy steps in and helps pay for the woman’s groceries because she has her kids with her and doesn’t have enough money? The cashier is trying to help the woman but neither does math. Some items are discounted, but they can’t figure that into it. They’re scanning each item, looking to see what the total is, scanning another item, oops, too much, scanning some other item to bring it down, okay, let’s see, scanning another item…
I look at the kids, reach for my wallet and realize it’s futile. If I paid for everything and let her keep her money, she’s still feeding those kids junk. She weighs the better part of three hundred pounds so any discussion in regard to nutrition isn’t going anywhere. Yeah, that’s a great idea; wade in with my money and for one meal of her life try t help. Looking back, it might have been a good idea but the lane next to this one cleared and I simply walked away without helping.
What’s the point here anyway? This woman sealed her fate and the fate of her kids when she dropped out of school to have kids. Even if she would have stayed in the educational system in South Georgia isn’t the type to give poor kids some sort of springboard into a better world. The anti intellectual culture we live with in South Georgia doesn’t allow for learning for the sake of learning so learning because you’ve been herded into a classroom isn’t a form of enlightenment, it’s daycare for older kids. Instant gratification, fast food, entertainment systems, and a culture that worships the here and now over the future means there will be an endless supply of cashiers for that store, and many others like it in South Georgia.
The point is, Mike, is you fucked up. You had a chance to do something, however small, and you simply left those two women, and those kids, without so much as a word. Because you’re plugged into an MP3 player, and hiding under sunglasses, and because you can simply move to the next cashier and walk away, you took the path of least resistance, and you let those two women see that, and whatever else you’ve done, you’ve done nothing to help, and that is part of what is wrong, and you goddamn well know it.
You left part of your soul back there, Mike, you left part of your humanity.

Good luck in getting it back.

Take Care,
Mike

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