Thorn Bushes Both For Liberals and Conservatives Alike

Sometimes it feels like the days are going incredibly fast. Wednesday night I have English class, and by the next day, it’s Thursday and I’m looking over the edge into Friday already. And well, Saturday is Saturday, and Sunday is Sunday. A week runs through, the unemployed days are treating me well. Separation from the wife is bashing me around.

Also I’ve known for a long time, there’s no such thing as southern hospitably in this town. If someone is actually friendly in Roanoke, I know it’s a fucking glitch in the Matrix. There’s no other explanation for it. Most are rude, inconsiderate, ignorant, and distant. If you were not born here, then there’s this uncomfortable silence. God, I’m so sick of it.

Rudra is sneezing in the kitchen. He likes it up there on top of the microwave. He trips me out. When I look at him, I feel so many different emotions at once. I want to conjure up the first man that ever said that animals don’t have feelings, that they don’t have a soul, or whatever, and slap him around the room for forty-five minutes. “What the fuck is wrong with you?! Don’t you have a heart?! Where’d it go?” Not that I’m a “liberal,” but those that use the term “bleeding heart liberal” and seriously mean it, frustrate me to the point of speechlessness. They can use it for anything. You talk about vegetarianism: “Oh, you’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Recycling: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Traveling: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Stamp collecting: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” Chess: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal.” And so on.

So I invite liberals and conservatives of the world over to dinner all at once and watch them battle like it’s a cock fight. What’s left, I throw in the bin in the back yard—all to let my dad know it’s not that I oppose some of his own uncaring ideals with another set of uncaring ideals: I’m an individual and oppose with pure indignation, with humanity, silly self-righteousness, with bare bones and the “tribal,” with the animalistic, with the fabulous and the fantastic, with knowledge, growing, with junk mail piling up and thrown out in a heap. Careless fathers and crazy jumpers of the world, you feel threatened by those who care—and express yourselves stupidly in defense. The irony manifests as thorn bushes all around and your trails are bloodied all throughout your dwelling.

As Rudra gets better, it can be more and more difficult to feed him. I’ve learned a new patience. A friend was over and when observing I was having a hard time, said, “You have a good sense of humor about it all.” I took it as a wonderful compliment, and it is. But later I was crying, because for a moment I had begun to feel my patience slip with Rudra, and it made me feel incredibly guilty. I am honored to care for him in this way, truly. It’s only in the small moments that we sort of mock each other. I guess that too is natural, as long as we see it for what it is.

The on-going theme is loneliness and a desire to connect. Strength is what overcomes sorrow and loneliness. Yet I have to wonder if at times what I call strength is being covered over by denial. A “strong man” puts an end to his sobbing and tells himself he has toughened up. The days pass. He becomes out of touch.

Not me. Not me. I know what the fuck is going on here. I’m in mourning. Her absence is all over the apartment and out in the yard and in the car and at the co-op while standing by myself in line and going to bed without her and waking up without her and cracking jokes without her, talking out-loud as if she were here but she’s really not… Not even she can send me a card without putting herself in the envelope to make it all right again.

So her doing all the good work of studying abroad and expanding her mind in all kinds of ways—it’s as holy as any chapel. I only want to hear good news from her at this point. “Guess what, today I won the Nobel Prize in Literature.” Oh, good for you, dear! Good for you! When is January?

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