Eight o’clock.

Everything you hear from the media sounds like a scare tactic. It uses fear to control us— because it works. I’m sick of playing this game. I’m not the only one who feels that way. The guy I heard yesterday in the waiting room was whacko, and yet the feelings he expressed were universal. Who is the tycoon in charge of all this? Surely he is jerking our strings, making us put on a mask in perfect uniformity. But now I sound like a whacko too. Everyone says how crazy the times are, but no one knows who is responsible. Maybe it’s just human nature to want to blame somebody… I remarked to Michelle that the market is running out of food. She said there’s a shipment coming in Wednesday. I guess Raj hasn’t been satisfied with the Portland distributor, so he switched to another one. Michelle said it didn’t make any sense. Anyway, I got my run to the store done early to beat the heat. Hopefully the forecast is inaccurate… I heard more weird conspiracy theories in church last night, regarding the postal service. The madness has to stop somewhere. Somebody with some sense must sort it all out for us. Frankly I’m tired of the church group as well. We’re all equally ignorant about what is happening, so stop dreaming up things. We should mind our own business and just hang on until a better day.

Happy Trails

Five o’clock 🕔.

Summer heat is no fun unless you’re a young child. The best advantage to the season is lower utility bills, but otherwise forget the summertime. When I was a kid I used to play with my neighbor friends down the street, not knowing any better than the Batman tv series and Tonka toy trucks except for the interesting comic books that were available. At Darlene’s funeral in March, her daughter gave me a stiff hug but didn’t speak to me or look at me, for our paths had diverged so much over the years. Nor do I blame myself for the way life went. Our destinies were discrepant, even contradictory. I imagine she thinks I am a snob, that typical Oregon ways aren’t good enough for me. And in a way she would be right, because redneck to me is like being suffocated with outing flannel. For some reason, of the three West Coast states, Oregon is the forgotten one. Washington and California have big cities to redeem them, but Oregon only has Portland to keep it sophisticated. But the odd thing is that people keep migrating here from other states, I guess because the cost of living is cheaper here, plus Oregon has a lot more natural beauty left unspoiled by human greed. The land here is beautiful and the people are the natural expression of the countryside. Rednecks are hewn from the very mountains of Central Oregon and the Pacific Ocean provides their lifeblood. Then what makes me different from the landscape? How am I above my blood? From comic books to Tarzan books and on to James Joyce, it’s been an adventure in letters. Some people pursue the trail of words, and others are still on the Oregon Trail…

The Great Divide

Quarter of eleven. I forgot my Vraylar last night, so I will take it again pretty soon. I don’t really know why Polly isn’t talking to me, but it’s probably something childish and stupid. I had a dream about my nephew Ed a few hours ago, but it didn’t make much sense. I was on the phone to Polly while driving or walking on the Beltline where there was a wreck and a fire 🔥. I was saying something about the gravel quarry next to the highway. I often dream about that section of the Beltline Highway. And then Ed was in the dream, and we met in the same location. It was evening time before sunset. But I don’t remember what we talked about or what the issue was. I only know that I felt like the bad guy, and there was reproach in the look on his face. In reality I don’t know Ed very well except for his ignorance and his sexual morals, which are excessive and conservative. His morals in general are simplistic and judgmental. And yet he drinks too much, and even drives drunk 🥴 or with open container. So then what issue would he have with me that I would dream about it? Poor Ed. He just isn’t very smart. Maybe I feel guilty about that? He seems to be Polly’s successor as the moral leader of the family. Very strange. And of course I am on the outside of all of this. So much time has been wasted since we got along okay. But no, not wasted, because I wouldn’t want to be uneducated like them. I guess I left my family behind a long time ago. No sense in regretting it now, whatever I may dream. There’s no blame to be had. I did what I had to do, and sacrificed my family for wisdom. Still, my unconscious regrets that it couldn’t be different…

Letter to a Friend

Hello —-,

Just an update to my first email.

Every activity held at Our Redeemer has been cancelled until Good Friday, so this means no church tomorrow. But Pastor still plans to have a Zoom meeting with us at ten o’clock Sunday morning.

And while I was away at the food pantry, Polly tried to call me. It was about five o’clock when I saw the missed call, so I returned it right away. She just wanted to know how I was doing. Toward the end of the conversation, her politics began to annoy me. Specifically, she has certain ideas about homeless people I don’t agree with. You’ve probably heard the opinion, “Oh, they could get a job if they wanted to.” She and her son Ed, who works as a park ranger, are convinced that the majority of the homeless choose their fate and take designer drugs like Fentanyl. I would like to have more firsthand information before making a judgment on any of these claims, but I can bet that Polly’s right wing politics colors her perception of the whole thing. It just pisses me off royally, to be honest. In her mind, the mere fact of having a home versus not having one makes all the difference between a good person and bad. Don’t you think that’s quite stupid? Where do people with attitudes like that come from? It is terribly insensitive and unkind, and a product of feeble intelligence. But this is what I have to deal with every time Polly talks to me. If I had the proper counter evidence, I would argue with her and show her how absurd and mean spirited her ideas are. I had next door neighbors with the same ignorant opinions who moved away in 2015, to my great relief. When James and Brenna looked at the house before buying, they found not a single book on the premises.

Well you know, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I can bitch and complain all I want, but morons like my sister and nephew will always exist —- and persist in their wrongheaded views. Still, I don’t have to listen to their BS. And the less often I hear from my family, the better. My brother is a major capitalist, so in that sense he is just as Republican as Polly. Out of my whole family, I am the only Democrat in the true sense of caring about people over caring about money.

Well anyway, now you know where I stand. Luckily, Pastor Dan and a few in the assembly share my politics. I do Food for Lane County from an authentic feeling of duty. Who would be cold and hard hearted enough to withhold a handout to the people who need food, clothing, shelter, and a lot of other things? I don’t see Polly doing anything like volunteering, nor my brother or for that matter anybody in my whole family.

To hell with it.

Talk to you later Gator,

Your Rob