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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No Difference


The pain has been non-stop.  My new protocol works for a day or two, then doesn’t work anymore.  And yesterday I could find nothing to distract myself from what I assumed was a nail biting election.  I was on news blackout because it just increases my pain when I’m stressed.  My phone didn’t ring all day so I convinced myself it was bad news for Obama.  My dad finally called about 6 (PST) and said we’d probably not know until tomorrow.  Then he called a few hours later to tell me to sleep well.  I did.

My dad has been a lifelong Democrat and champion of the civil rights movement.  I recall when I was about six years old, during the Kennedy election, we had a sticker on our front door with a black house and a white house next to each other, representing integration.  We had a black family over for dinner as part of some exchange program.  I remember thinking, “Why are these strangers here?”  Not that they were black, but that we didn’t know them.  Our neighbors were very ticked off at my dad but he stood his ground, bless his heart...  He had an upstart business and it was difficult for many years, but he never wavered from his beliefs.  Still hasn't.

He feels that way about everyone.   I remember telling someone that my dad and I saw Brokeback Mountain together when he was visiting me from Minnesota.  Most asked how old he was.  He was 84 at the time.  Everyone was knocked over when I said we had long talks about the movie and how awful it must have been for the characters, and for the  people living in a lie because of fear.  No one could believe a guy his age felt that way who was straight.  We had a lot of knock down fights when I was growing up, but never over those issues.  He is a strong supporter of gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.  He knows of my challenges of course, and knows I smoke it for pain and did so recreationally when I was younger.  Of course, when I was 17, he didn’t know.

Once, when my folks were gone for the day, a friend came over and we made loaded brownies for a party.  They were cooling on the table when my dad came home.  He asked for a piece.  I said no, dad, they are for a party.  He said one piece?  You won’t give your old man one piece?  I felt awful, but couldn’t believe he didn’t notice they were more green then dark brown.  If he had known, it would have been WW III.   Can’t say he was open minded about me taking drugs.

I just hope the next four years brings what Obama promised in the first four.  I get that he inherited a huge mess (Clinton left Bush with a trillion dollar surplus and peace...Bush, on the other hand, left Obama with a trillion dollar deficit and a war)  and had almost no support from either side of the isle….I hope that changes, because until people stop digging their heels in, until we stop trying to buy elections, until we CAN have an election where gazillionares aren’t throwing billions at the candidate, until they are no longer rigged one way or another….until all that happens, we are going to continue circling the drain…and eventually, we will go down just like every other country we profess to hate.  We fight wars to “bring democracy” to the “poor souls” who live under dictatorship….with people like Bush at the helm.   But the big difference between “us” and “them”?   Nothing.  Not one single thing.  Not when we behave the way we have been behaving.  To each other, and to the world.

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