Monday, July 4, 2011

on the fourth

Cat walks back and forth along the west edge on my bed. He seems to be avoiding sitting on things. I sleep with books on my bed, with headphones, an iPod classic, a journal, sometimes a stray clean sock with no mate.

My Girl sleeps. I'm pretty sure she was up chatting or texting with a friend much of the night. Their lives are complicated. I'm glad I've forgotten what it's like to be 16, though I write 16-year-old characters, so maybe I should let myself remember.

This is a slow way into a post I haven't composed yet. I will, as usual, compose in this window. I want to write a love letter to our politicians. I can't, though. I can't love them. I want to write a love letter to our Constitution. That makes more sense. I'm not as familiar with the Constitution as I'd like to be. It's one of those things I read periodically but can't retain. Sort of like instructions on how to program my phone. (I know that is a trite comparison.)

Maybe one of the things every American should do on July 4 is read the Constitution. I just paused while writing this to reread it, well, skim it. It's a pretty brilliant piece of work, really. I have to wonder how our Founding Fathers knew what we would be up against.

I have lost my train of thought because I started researching "corporate personhood" as I wrote. When I think about politics, about our government, about Democrat vs. Republican, liberal vs. conservative, people vs. corporations, I feel all deflated and sad.

Deflated is not so bad because then maybe my fattening belly will unfatten. But sad is not good. I feel impotent and discouraged for my child and all the kids I think of as my "fake children."

When we moved to Ohio in 1995 (from Texas. Red state to semi-red state, though glory hallelujah, she was a bit blue in 2008), I started paying attention to who was running for what, what they believed, what they promised, how they planned to implement their promises. Then I watched everything unravel when they got into office.

Our mayor is not running for office again (don't blame him. People around here are vicious, and when things in their lives go wrong, they blame people in supposed power. I love running into our mayor at the grocery store or library. He knows people know him but always looks so confused when I say hello to him as if he's an old friend or a neighbor I haven't seen in a while). One of the candidates who is running for mayor (I won't name names) is someone several of my friends have friended on Facebook. I suppose they will be supporting him (he is a Republican, but even some of my Democrat friends are supporting him. I suppose party, at first, means less at a local level, but I think that's deceptive. Not that I trust anyone of either party to stand for anything that matters any more except power and control and fucking partisan divisiveness). I've read his Facebook page and watched interviews with him.

I have absolutely no idea what he hopes to do for our little city, what he believes, who he is barring the bare facts of occupation, hair color, family, etc. In interviews, he is enthusiastic about the support he is receiving from the community, but he never says why I should support him. He talks about how well his fund-raising is going, how he plans to go door-to-door to encourage people to vote for him.

But why should I vote for you? I think. Why? Why should I vote at all any more? My vote rarely counts in my county. I'm such a socialist, you know. And, hey, from now on, I'm voting my conscience rather than voting against a candidate or for a party against another party. If that means I end up voting for the socialist candidate whose policies and belief system line up better with mine than the blue dog Democrat's, that's what I'll do even if I know he'll lose.

Oh, good gravy this is dull. A political post on Independence Day. I don't feel particularly independent.

The cat has settled. He's happy, head turned upside down. I pet his belly and he flexes his claws (which need clipping). I feel him purring.

I doubt I'll bother to find fireworks to watch, though my Girl has tentative plans to watch with a friend from the friend's car somewhere on the north side of town near the Starbucks. I don't have a cookout planned, don't even know what we'll have for dinner (maybe fruit salad and a deli tray, anti-meat, yo).

I was going to try to compose a post before I came to my blog, to write something of higher quality. But when I write offline, I have other things to write - poems, bits of novel (and dammit, a new premise arrived as a dream, and I feel pulled to write it before the MFA residency starts on July 23, or at least to sketch it out), letters to my young friend in boot camp, lists...

I like writing lists. They keep me sane.

To do today:

- whatever I feel like doing

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