I love my country. Sure, it needs some work. Just like myself. And just like every single person. And even though my rough spots still need to be smoothed out, I still love myself. I remember being surrounded by men on a hot summer day while urinating in a bathroom in inner city Baltimore. I was alone. I could feel one man’s breath on my neck while the others started laughing. I walked out of that bathroom. I find Baltimore to be a lucid example of my love for America. We all need a bit of work. It’s OK to admit it. But what I won’t do is hate it, or myself, for not being perfect when all the while I know perfect doesn’t exist. Baltimore is a gorgeous city. I can’t wait to go back. In fact, I have, multiple times.
You can come for a ride with me, but it’s not going to be like most rides. We’ll find the old dirt roads with not much to see. Woods, streams, mountains, and more dirt roads steadied with ruts and bumps and dust. The windows will be down. Wind will stream inside one and out the other. And the conversation might be about who visited who in which dream and what had been said and the possibilities of why. Or, we won’t talk. Instead we might listen to the chirping of the birds. Or, if we’re lucky the rumbling of a thunderstorm will tickle our imaginations until finally it hits and the dusty dirt road becomes a slippery mud pit. If the storm is bad enough, and the wind strong enough, a few branches might come down, even a tree. That’s OK though. We have rope and a chain saw, and besides, the story just got better. Thanks for coming on these rides, Dad. Even though you’re gone, I still talk with you. Sorry about the yelling- Sometimes you do feel a bit too far away.
Get a job, you bum! Daddy, why did you say that to that man? He’s a bum. There’s a help wanted sign right over there. But why did you say that to that man? Because he’s a bum and needs a job. Why though? Because he needs a job. Why? What if he’s sick? I don’t care! I work when I’m sick and you’ll work when you’re sick!
And all their necks are bent. Not in any which way. But, only one way. And they bent and they bent. Gobbling up and down as though they were turkeys. When the dark clouds came they scattered and looked at their feet.