Upsetting
Friday, January 23, 2004
 
Did you really smoke cigarettes that came in a black package and were simply called Death? You can’t imagine that you spent money for something that was called Death, but you know that you did.

The amount of money spent smoking, the epidemic health-related expenses. All of them told us it was for us to do. Our heroes, our Deans and Davises and Keiths. All of the jazzmen smoked, and they did heroin to insulate themselves and their craft from the crushing, relentless racism.

Drugs were outlaw, and they were cool. They fostered the escape.

You drink, you smoke, you vanish.

The rebel marketing of the cigarettes, you think. They made us want to smoke. They somehow convinced us that killing yourself was cool and rebellious.

You broke up with him when you found out he had a personalized license plate, and it made you mad that he didn’t understand your reasoning, that you could not ally yourself with someone like that. After all these years, you are convinced the decision was the right one, the only difference is that now you can pick out those people from a mile off.

Like with the bumper stickers and cute cell phone rings.

To each their own, you think, but not to yours. You want to be, but they keep coming. Not to be your friend or form a community, but to pull you into man’s Habitrail. Do it over and over, and when you finally stop and look up you’ll be dead like all the smokers.

You used to tell people that Jackie Gleason smoked six packs of cigarettes a day, and he lived to be 70-something. That was your antidote for their concern.

The human Habitrail like the Skyway in Minneapolis, snow-white city of the Norse. This climate is so inhospitable to humans that we’ve built a series of tunnels for you to walk through, like you’re in outer space.

The hamsters have the Habitrail space station, and the humans send cars to Mars. The advertising machine tells you this is historic, and if you aren’t interested, you’re not fully American. This is our destiny, the advertising says, to explore out universe.

Men seek.

The advertising reports that there are no terrorists or wars to be fought on the red rock in space. Not until we get there, the late-night comedian says. We can mess up a Mars picnic.

And while you’re distracted, a man in the South of the United States is trying to make a change, highlighting more relevant math. He talks of the two Americas, one for the privileged and one for everyone else. It’s all so confusing, the math of sickness and education. Poverty in a land of wealth.

Open the borders when you want cheap labor to come empower business, but heaven forbid if these seeking folks will enter the Habitrail toward citizenship. No rights in the workplace. Know your rights.

The men with the sinewy forearms will then take their cigarettes and domestic beers, and think about how it was all supposed to be. The wife, the house, the kids. Take the cigarette in, wash it down with the beer.

Think, where is the tipping point in youth where it all becomes sadness?
 
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