Upsetting
Monday, December 29, 2003
 
You remember when you, too, synthesized life through Bukowski. The screams from the balcony now but solitary whispers on empty streets. You learned the word libertine, thought of it as a hat you’d like to try on.

Back when finishing sentences with prepositions was unthinkable.

The Islamists are high-fiving outside the dirty Kandahar hideouts because the government did as the Islamic terrorists predicted: They decided to put the handguns on the airplanes, the advertising machine reports. The installation of weaponry on airliners is done, they say, because religious terrorists have a tough go of it at the security checkpoints. By having the handguns on the airplanes in advance, we will save them the trouble.

And the advertising machine asks the skittish people to be on the lookout – Get this, they say – for skinny brown-skinned men with almanacs and maps. An impending raid at Rand McNally will hopefully secure the United States from future cartographical attacks by fans of the television show Jeopardy, which cynics point out is hosted by a Canadian.

A writing staff for a late-night show kicks around jokes about the power of knowledge.

A child molester continues to terrorize the United States, in the small towns and sprawling urban centers. Watch the life drain from the 5-year-old. See the NASDAQ rise, oblivious to the sadness.

They say Cisco has too much cash, that the minority owners of the company have no business knowing how the CEO compensates himself. Knowledge is powerful. The advertising machine says, Did you know Cisco was founded a woman?

Damn straight.

You think of the freedom in Bukowski, about how a man who refuses to acknowledges his tormentors is forever free of them. You wonder about short and sweet versus long and arduous.

You put up an umbrella. Kiss a loved one, allowing your lips to press fully into theirs. You grab hold, holding on to all you have.

You pray.
 
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