Monday, August 31, 2020

Monsters Fall


I was driving my new Tesla down a quiet street when all of a sudden out of nowhere a large black suburban pulled up behind me.  Then the lights went on, but they weren't normal police lights, they were blue with flashes of white.  I figured at first that I was being stopped because my temporary paper plates from Tesla were now a month out of date.  It's weird, Elon Musk and his bunch can land a spent booster rocket on a tiny platform on the ocean, but they can't seem to get me license plates.  They build great cars, but their customer service doesn't just stink, its dead.  Some day it will catch up to them.

Well, it turns out that it wasn't my out of date license plate.

Two cop like guys come up to my car and look down at me through the glass roof.  Then one comes around to the driver side.  I push the window button.

"Are you Oz" the voice asks?

"My friends call me that."

"Step out of the car please."

When I do, someone puts a bag around my head and then I feel a little zing in my back.

I wake up really groggy in a king bed in a nice high rise hotel suite.  I think it may have been the Adolphus based on the 100 year old architecture and what looked like that new A T and T  World Headquarters across the street behind the drawn shear curtains.  There were two chairs with a room service dining table in the middle of the room.

I hear a commotion in the adjourning room and then this brooding, overweight high school football coach looking guy with a 50's haircut walks into the room favoring his right leg just a little.

It was the Orange POTUS.

"Are you OZ?"

"My friends call me that."

"You know I have the best words, the best people, the best ideas, the best...And my people tell me that both little Bush and "I can't say his name" had meetings with you before being re-elected.  They were both secret meetings, but we found them in the SS logs, so I told them to pick you up.  Sorry for the bag, that's just the way it has to be you know".

"I'm listening."

"So why did you meet with them?"

"It was their call, I think they read my writings and they decided they wanted my honest opinion about things."

"I don't read."

"I know."

"Well they both got re-elected after talking to you, so I want what you got."

"Are you paying?"

"I don't pay."

"I know"

So tell me, how do I get re-elected?

 I thought for a moment.

"Do what you are doing.  Double down on the White Power, continue to deny the pandemic, and racial injustice.  Keep attacking the press and continue to deny Climate Change. Bring those Q anon quack jobs into the White House.  Learn to make that little sign with your hands with just them noticing.  Keep calling Biden a left wing socialist.  Keep filing lawsuits in all the swing states to suppress voting.  Remember, D's win when the turnout is over 60%.  R's have a chance in the high 50s and win when its lower.  You squeaked by with a 58% turnout. It's like the law.

"Do you think I am a racist"

"No, you are an ass-hole."

He seemed to like that; I think a little crack of a creepy smile came across his puffy face.

"I see why the others have sought you out.  Should I start a war?"

"Your people won't like that, besides many of them would die and those that don't will come back damaged with the horrors they witnessed and perhaps committed."

"How about a race war?"

"Remember when Richard Nixon wanted to bomb the holy crap out of Laos and Vietnam and he asked Mr. K about it?"

"No, I don't read."

"Well, Kissinger told Nixon that he didn't think he would want to be remembered as a Butcher. It will definitely keep you off Rushmore."

"But the whites have most of the guns. The war will be over in weeks."

"That's what the South thought in the last Civil War.  Besides unlike Nixon, you won't be remembered as a Butcher, you will be remembered as a MONSTER."

I saw his eyes roll up to the ceiling, as if he was thinking.

After a moment he looked at me like he had heard enough. But I could tell that he was going to keep me alive.  He might need some more from me some day.

"Do you want some chicken tenders?"

"I'm good."

I got to go home without a bag over my head or a dart in my back. When I walked into the house,  Janelle asked me where I had been.


Are you lying?

"Pretty much."

Later that evening I remembered Monster's Ball, and how the movie depicted Hanks' amazing journey from high prison tension to sublime peace; how one can go (in the view of one movie reviewer) from death, misery, hatred, failures, superficial vigor and loneliness to a new worldview of compassion, sharing, faith, intense perceptions, hope, love and togetherness.

I looked up into the stars.

And I thanked them.

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