—From the Fool—
I’d been failing lately with some regularity. I’d never been big on success, but I had this thing where I wanted to marry Luann. Or, I didn’t want to that much, but my sister thought it would be a good idea because Luann didn’t want to be a hooker any more. Plus, she was pretty attractive, in a low-budget commercial kinda way.
But I’d failed at being a NY Times bestselling author, having not got past my first sentence, and being a phone solicitor. What else is left, I wondered. It seemed too long a row to hoe to be a brain surgeon, and by the time I got through all the classes, they’d have probably figured that brains weren’t worth the effort.
Then I ran into Cleveland. Cleveland was a black guy from Detroit. Don’t ask me. But he seemed to be hip to the current scene. At least as much as my dumb white friends. He’s equal-opportunity dumb.
So Cleveland tells me, “Be a politician.” They get a salary, they get health care, they get a pension plan, and they get a lot of free meals.” I told him I didn’t really know anything about that stuff. I didn’t have a job creation plan, I didn’t know how to deal with North Korea or global warming or Medicare. I couldn’t think of anybody to appoint to the Supreme Court except Benny, and I had my doubts about him.
“No problem, bro,” he said. “Start simple. Run for dog-catcher. Work your way up to President.”
That sounded okay, even though I’m scared of dogs. But then I got my sample ballot in the mail, and, first, it looked like they’d already decided the candidates and it was too late to apply, and second, there wasn’t any dog-catcher on the ballot.
Cleveland suggested a write-in campaign. So I started with my sister, who said she’d write me in, and likewise Luann. I went to ask Benny, but he was a harder sell.
“Have you ever caught a dog?” he asked. I had to admit I hadn’t, but maybe that was an advantage, because I wasn’t trapped in old business-as-usual politics. I could bring new ideas, thinking outside the box. I wasn’t part of the system. I could shake things up. That sounded pretty good.
But what it finally came down to with Benny: Was I mad as hell? Did I hate dogs? Were they drug lords and rapists? Were they destroying America? I couldn’t really say. I thought, well, if somebody has a problem with a dog, I’ll go catch it. But that flip-floppy attitude didn’t hack it anymore. So in his opinion I didn’t really have the killer instinct that we all need so ravenously.
I’m trying to think what else people do for a living. There must be something that doesn’t involve murder.
We’ve had rain. Not just sprinkles but a genuine two-day soaker. I think we’d better eat collard greens very soon, even though we just polished off the last batch, because they look so vigorous that their big green elephant-ears may soon make it hard to get in the front door.
I got ten jars of tomato sauce safely canned, we probably have enough delicata squash to last through the winter, and I’m hoping to get the bare rambly skeletons of the deceased eggplant and cucumbers ripped up before it’s too late to plant the next garlic. And damn, I’d really like to get it right with the beets this year.
My second hip surgery is finally back on the healing track, and I’m doing my best to not overdo again. We don’t haul ass with Lear again until early November, three weeks to get both the hip and the stage work in shape. If I can do beets and garlic, I will, and if not, I won’t.
I’m doing my best to listen to the earth and listen to my body, and right now both are saying “Knock it off and go to bed.”
Right. Good night, everybody.
I thought about describing my visit to the new SF Museum of Modern Art and my love-hate relationship with big blank canvases. I thought of doing one last fling about the election. I thought of posting a poem about the homeless and the stuff they leave on the sidewalk. And finally I thought of just writing a blurb on what I thought about.
So I did.
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© Bishop & Fuller 2016