YOU PEOPLE

You people are what’s wrong with this country. If something could be done about you, there might be hope. Every time somebody gives you a break, or cuts your some slack, it’s an insult to the rest of us. We’re God-fearing, hard-working folks, and you all are parasites looking for a host to feed on.

Do you remember a time when America made sense? When Walter Cronkite told you the news and night and you could believe he wasn’t just making shit up? When the office of the President commanded respect? When a boy could get a rifle for Christmas and it wouldn’t cause liberal tongues to wag?

I remember that America. I was once that boy. Now, I’m heavily medicated, on permanent disability, and although my religion tells me to love the Negro and the Jew, the Muslim and the Communist, there’s almost nobody I believe or respect any more. Paul Harvey is dead. So is Earl Nightingale. They made the Boy Scouts admit queers and give them a merit badge for butt fucking. That’s the America I live in now.

I always worked, always had a job. When I was ten I was a paper boy. When I was fourteen, a bus boy. Sixteen a dishwasher. Eighteen, I worked construction. Today what do I have to show for it? Nothing more than that immigrant who showed up last week expected three square meals and a roof over his head. He’s getting what he expected, and more. Me, I got the shaft.

I rent in a one-bedroom, cookie-cutter apartment near a Mega Wal-Mart that costs almost half my monthly disability check. There’s nothing to look at but the parking lot, which is full of RV’s half the time because they let those people park for free, guessing that they’ll buy something on their way to the bathroom. Scum of the earth lurk around there. If I had a wife or daughter, I wouldn’t let them wander over there any time of day.

Even though nobody wants to admit it, America is full of bad people. Some of them are even Americans. Some of them are white. Some of them have guns. All of them have lawyers, and if push comes to shove, you’ll go to jail and they’ll get house arrest or probation. Their kids will go to good schools and rub shoulders with important people, while your kids hang around with future prison inmates. These people have each other’s backs, so there’s no easy way to bring them down. If you can get a cop drunk and get him to talk, he’ll tell you all about it.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep I go to Wal-Mart because it’s open 24/7. The aisles are mostly empty, but there are a few people walking up and down, mostly meth users, tweakers, talking to themselves. You can tell who they are because their eyes bug out. Then there are the workers, usually Nigerians or Mexicans, restocking merchandise. They do that kind of stuff at night. There’s usually only one cashier on duty. Any time of year you can go to Wal-Mart if there’s no place else open. Last time I was there I met a guy named Ken. He’s older than me, but I sort of enjoy talking with him, at least until his negativity gets to me.

Ken is one of those guys who never fits in, no matter where he lives. He’s still burned up about stuff that happened fifty years ago. The girl that went off with another guy in 1970. When I think about the prison he lives in, I vow not to get stuck in that spot. Even if I don’t know how I’m going to move on from this place I feel stuck in now, I know I’m going to do everything in my power to do so.

I used to think someone was holding me back from being all that I could be. At first I thought it was rich white people, then Jews, then black people on welfare, but at last I realize that no one has been stopping me from reaching my personal best. Once I figured that out it got easier and it also got harder. I need to get rid of the parasites in my life. Gotta call them out and name them. Stop pretending they don’t exist and they’re not sucking the life and energy out of everybody around.

Damn, you’d think a relatively good-looking guy like me from a good-enough family could have gotten somewhere by now.

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