I was sitting in the Arena Bar and Grill in Simi Valley the other night listening to the most amazing cover band I have ever heard. There were four dudes in this band; three of them were kind of on the young side, I mean if you consider being just on the under side of forty being young. I do. The bassist though looked liked he'd died and been brought back to life on more than one occasion. I don't say he was old and wrinkled looking, but that dude made Keith Richards look like he'd been using skin care products all his life and not the cheap shit either. Old or not, that sumofagun could sure play his bass guitar. He handled that thing as smoothly as John Travolta handled Karen Lynn Gorney on the dance floor in Saturday Night Fever.
As good as the band was, and it was very good, it still took several songs before I relaxed enough to let go and start enjoying the music. That led me to thinking about how tightly wound I've become since the devil-may-care days of my youth. And that made me start thinking of all the hard, painful realities I've been dealing with the last few years, and that, in turn, led to the realization that life in general sure can be a cold-hearted bitch. The large room was full of people of all ages, sizes, and ethnicities. The occasion was meant to raise money to help the family of a young mother who passed away from liver disease a couple of weeks before. Everybody appeared to be enjoying the music, but it was still easy to see the tale-tell signs and erosion of hope in their eyes, and the sadness etched on their scarred bodies. There was a beautiful black-haired woman in a short, skintight black dress who was working very hard to cover-up the extra pounds she carried around her middle, a hard-looking biker dude with tattoos all over his neck and cold, ball-bearing eyes, and a bleached blonde matronly looking woman with one side of her head shaved and tatted, wearing a dress much too short for a lady of her age and girth. The only ones there who appeared unscathed by life's vicissitudes were the children out dancing on the dance floor, happy, yet slightly apprehensive from trying to comprehend all of the antics of their elders.
Earlier that morning, I was forcefully reminded about my mother's passing. Someone had broken out a Capri-Sun drink in a little plastic pouch, and it reminded me of the apple-sauce packets that we kept in her refrigerator to feed her as she lay dying. She passed away last April, and I'd been hiding from the memory of those bleak days like a kid playing hide-and-go-seek for money. But suddenly, the image of her laying in bed struggling to hang on to what little bit of life she had left hit me right between the eyes like a sucker punch. It took some serious and frantic gymnastics with the TV remote before I found a college football game interesting enough to distract me.
For over two years, the small park in the center of Corcoran has been taken over by the homeless. I go back and forth between anger and empathy over the sad state of affairs. It seems like every street corner in the certain sections of Hanford, Visalia, Tulare and Fresno have been taken over by people with cardboard signs expressing their hunger and/or desire for alcohol and drugs. We, the supposedly average citizens, become immersed in a culture of death and dying. In California, we got ourselves a Governor who wants to make our once beautiful state into the abortion capital of the United States. I don't think he believes in any of the reasons that people put forth to argue for abortion as much as he wants to use the issue for his own political purposes. The politics of the issue have taken over to the point that neither side can see there is a lot of things that can be done to mitigate the myriad tragedies of unwanted pregnancies that people could agree upon without compromising any their own beliefs.
I believe the whole thing, the divisiveness over the abortion issue, the homelessness, the transgender issues, in fact, everything that polarizes society, is both political and purposeful. I think that they want it to be that way. They do not wish us to ever come together and view our willingness to resolve issues by talking them out as a danger to their hold on power. Who are they? The people who benefit most from the current state of affairs. The rest of us are left to our own devices to make do as best we can. I'm still slightly unconvinced about the whole Covid narrative, but firmly believe that there was absolutely no reason to rip the hems off of the social garment. Since when has it ever been a good idea to tear society apart in the face of major existential threat? Yet, that is exactly what happened. Instead of tightening things up or battening down the hatches, we emptied out the jails at the same time we defunded the police, we created sanctuaries for the homeless in every public space to serve as a constant reminder about the hopelessness of life. We legalized drugs and ended cash bail, releasing criminals back on the street almost as quickly as they committed their crimes. Our Governors wrested control of the states from out of the hands of our duly elected officials and put us all in jail for our own good, or so they said. It has become a major social faux-pas to mourn the loss of free speech which now apparently exists only for the benefit of the people who advance one side of the narrative, or who have little or no common sense.
It's a scary place this modern world, full of scary people and stupid ideas, bloated like a parking lot full of dead cows in the summer sun, floating around with all the grandiose pomposity of the Hindenburg. The stench of decomposition fills the air and the babblers, singing like a choir composed of cartoon squirrels, tell us that the aroma is just that expensive perfume that one Kardashian girl wears to cover up the perspiration she is profusely sweating because one day, she knows with all the certainty of death and taxes, there will be a time when a little boy points at her as she exits a limo, who will say, "But Mama, she's not wearing any clothes," and the whole world will suddenly awaken from its narcoleptic slumber and see her and her siblings for who and what they really are.
Solutions? I have none, just to try to get as close as I can to some sort of truth and live life where I cause no pain. That's hard to do nowadays because everyone is so sensitive and entitled, a hell of a lot more entitled than we used to be. They taken away our right to laugh at shit, and that's the biggest loss of all because if you can't laugh at life, all it leaves you is the tragedy.
Nope, I don't know what the answer is. I just know that whatever this shit is, ain't it.