Too Small to Fail / Where Were You?

(3 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

He has the thick hard fingers of a carpenter, nails short and blunt, yet he can tie a micro-filament knot with the delicacy of a surgeon. Fly fishing season was nearly over, and there was little to do these days but prep for next year. The sound of the phone not ringing was almost palpable over the drone of the local news broadcast at noon. Another idle day, the contractor must had not coughed up the money for the next delivery of materials. His girlfriend had been making noises about him moving in with her and her two very young kids. It felt too soon, but his rent was already two weeks late. The cops beating on those people was depressing as hell; he turned off the news and went outside to rake the last of the fall leaves.

She was an angel. That’s what she like to call her temp job doing in-home care for the elderly. She was getting attached to her clients, and had already gotten in trouble for cleaning one persons house while they slept. “Not in your job description,” she was told. Worse? When she helped that half blind lady write out her checks, she learned that the company was getting over three times her pay an hour for her services. She would love to work for herself, save them money and perhaps make a little more. Things were tight enough, and she was up against enough keeping custody of her two daughters being openly gay. But self-employed meant paying for a LLC license and having to insure herself heavily. Hell, they didn’t have health insurance at home, how could she afford to insure a business? She had no idea what the demonstrations were about, but the pastor at her church said they were anarchists. Sounded scary.


Wake up the dawn and ask her why

A dreamer dreams, she never dies

Wipe that tear away now from your eye

He used to be a writer. He liked to think of himself as a prophet; called himself a subversive. He could wind current events into a fictional short story that would leave readers openly weeping, or laughing aloud, all while tying the parable up so soundly that the message was clearer than a definitive sentence ever could be. He and his partner had almost come to fisticuffs eventually, both busy men who had ever less energy to print out their publication each week. Mailing lists became smaller and subscriptions became fewer and it had begun to strain his personal relationships at home. The weekly went tits up after he quit. He had occasionally saw the other guy’s byline in a local paper and felt mildly guilty and more than a little nostalgic. But he was happier now, wasn’t he?  Film was more his venue anyway, and his partner turned into a real dick. He decided to quit subscribing to the local papers altogether. No papers, no bylines. No worries.

How many special people change?

How many lives are living strange?

Where were you while we were getting high?

She had been a tigress in her day. A fighter, an actress, a force-to-be-reckoned with. She reveled in the fact people either loved or hated her – evoking such strong emotions either way – because no matter what their reaction? No one looked away when she spoke. But her body betrayed her and the meds messed up her head. Now she rode the roller coaster of depression, with rare forays into the manic side that would leave her feeling like her old self. The awesome just never seemed to sustain anymore. Living on disability income was frightening. How long until the cuts reached her, she often wondered. How the hell could she support her son and daughter with her husband out of work too? She wasn’t sure if she was crying from the chronic pain in her body, or the total devastation she saw each night on the news, the helpless feeling of being out of the mix of things exactly when she should be ass-deep in it. Maybe American Idol would calm her enough to sleep, as she turned off KO and pulled the covers closer.

Someday you will find me

Caught beneath the landslide

Her college debt was killing her. 23, no degree yet, and two jobs. She was living in a basement for christ-sakes. But compared to her peers, she had the world by the ass. At least she wasn’t living at home, she had her own car and a job. Its not like her best friend who had stayed with an abusive asshole for ages, because she had nowhere else to live. Her boyfriend was the awesome. She wanted to teach special education. She had to go back to Canada to her Mom’s anytime she was sick. This country was insane, she knew it, and she really wanted to join the protests. There were only so many hours in a day, and so much in her budget for gas.  Her job was over 30 miles away.

He considered himself as radical as they came, pouring out missives on his blog from his command center. He was fairly certain that there had been and still was widespread conspiracy in this country. His allies were beyond Jones, and no one seemed to understand he had PROOF, goddamn it, files of murders and software and was so close to the source of what was going on in this country he feared for his life. That wasn’t just paranoia, man. They killed people for less than what he knew. These protests were pansy stuff, he convinced himself, he would be on the front-lines when the actual battle started. You know, with guns and stuff. Besides, he had to stay under deep-cover, anonymous. He’d lose his job if he was seen on the streets, and then “they” would have a reason to take him out. No, no, better to stay alert from his command center. Someday he would be out there. Someday…

In a champagne supernova

A champagne supernova in the sky

This was his fight. The man had lived all over the world. He had been preaching socialism with his mothers milk, had been involved in Brazil, had lived and been educated throughout Europe. He was a professor, a publisher, and prolific author. He went to the demonstrations, he wrote lengthy pieces chronicling what was to be done and how. He was mentoring up and coming activists. His golden years were becoming ever more golden. How, now, to spread the message, get more ears?  So many people awakening, so many people seeing the PROBLEM for what it was; the solution was so obvious. The workers, organize the workers.  It had to come from down low, real democracy, and never again capitulate to the cancer of capitalism. He could not possibly do more than he was doing. He hoped his health held out.

Slowly walking down the hall

Faster than a cannonball

Small lives, none of them the heartbreak stories you read on the placards, none of them yet in the epic fail of homelessness or the death of a thousand cuts of unemployment or lack of healthcare.

Yet small lives all failing. All of these stories are true. Kind of. Mostly. Really. There are millions more. We scurry to hold together what is left of our existence, we cling to hold on to what happiness is left in the time we are given. We watch and do what we can… what we can… or do we?

Our lives are failing, and we are not too small to fail, for every failure is connected directly to the web of society.

The day is coming, this is a high my friends. This is a rising to the sky of our voices connected.

But you and I will never die

The world’s still spinning around we don’t know why

“Fuck it,” they said. “I’m in. I’m sick of this shit. Somethings got to change, and I may not know exactly what to do about it, but I’m tired of feeling isolated. I’m going to add my voice and get out there. Maybe someone else will know, I’m not sure, but its time to get together and talk about this. I mean, I want a say in what happens next. No one should decide for me, and how will I know what they are doing out there in my name unless I show up?”

They got off their couches. They stepped away from their facebook. They bundled up and stepped out the door. Those too sick to make the occupation, bucked up and made macaroni casseroles to drop off. They started writing again, talking again, moving again.

That guy used to listen to Rush, probably still does. That chick loves Ron Paul, for fucks sakes. Those people over there are some kind of anarchists or something. Jesus, why doesn’t someone tell those hippies the 60’s are over.

But wait, that guy used to work at Fords, and had to take early retirement, and that chick has a degree and just got hired at Starbucks; though she has to pass a lie detector test and a drug test to serve coffee with her Masters degree. What the fuck? And wow, those hippies are cleaning the place, recycling and making sure everyone has water. Those anarchists just raised their hands to make sure I got a chance to talk.

“We aren’t too small to fail,” they decided, “we are carpenters, nurses, waitresses, auto-workers, students, retirees, and what the hell is this country BUT us?”

The last part is pure fiction. Kind of. Maybe. I hope not.

Where were you while we were getting high?



    • Diane G on October 15, 2011 at 17:22

    • Diane G on October 16, 2011 at 22:20
  1. What is it now Uganda?  Bags of testosterone in some uniform (defintely that lost generation of 30 somethings) threatening arrest of people photographing the private buildings in multiple cities of the “Federal” Reserve.

    Lamestream media begs, implores, cajoles, threatens the zombified sheeple masses to just get back into their Matrix pods while esoteric youtubes cover everything from 2012 spiritual ascention into the fifth dimension to the flying saucers built by the never really deceased Third Reich.  How I got from the 911 video series to Obama’s video admission of his birth in Kenya remains a mystery.

    How though to carry on.

    I gave my grandkids their ATV rides.  I beat my daughter in a dash race on our untrained 4 year old philly, our very first informal horse show.  It was a great fall day but mixed with my haunting psychic visions that these are the end days of my life.

    Tomorrow I return(have to) once again to my very meaningless job at the shitty piece of shit bowels of hell assholian military-industrial complex job complete with their ancient 1960’s technology only because the pay allows me to maintain sort of my used to be lower middle class status.  Maybe for just another year or so.

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