So today, it was a good day. Mom and Liza and I, we went shopping. Mom wanted a belt, I needed a new white shirt and Liza never seems to want or need anything. She just comes along. Afterwards we went for sushi. Sushi is awesome because it looks like a lot and its cheap. Tea and sushi. It was a real treat. I was able to do this because I got a cheque. My stipend. My only income. My virtual reality. Because it can’t be a real reality. No one can live on $212.64 a week. I like to think I manage but I couldn’t. If I didn’t have help from Arms Around Bainbridge this month I would be going hungry. Literally. Or eating I don’t know what. Bills would be piling up. I would be trying to find work. That’s what would be happening. I couldn’t go back to my old job. They won’t have me as long as I’m this sick. Who can blame them. I would be trying to find something, there’s always something.
We drove past a guy dressed as the Statue of Liberty. He was waving a foam arrow pointing to a tax preparation place. I see him there a lot. Always the same guy. He seems okay with the work. I mean, he’s there, right? He hasn’t quit. I was wondering if I could do it. I don’t think I could stand that long. I would try though. You take a job like that and you don’t expect much in the way of supervision. I think I would sit, once in awhile. Mom and Liza laughed when I said I would do it. But I would. Totally. To me work isn’t about pride, it’s about money. Lack of money,in fact. Loss of pride? That’s all about not being able to feed yourself and pay your bills. But I’m alright. Really, I am fantastic.
Compared to what’s happening in the world…I’m GOLDEN!
Ever hear of the Orontes River Valley? It’s in Syria. Poor Syria. I watched Frontline last night. It was all about the Syrian conflict. The true horror though was the fact that both sides seemed so incredibly reasonable. Not sane. No one who aims a gun at another human can be completely sane. Wouldn’t it drive you crazy? It would me. But even crazy people can bargain. Can reason. It seemed to me as if they were open to reason. Discussion. The Sunni’s, they are just small town guys. Not city folk. They just want to eat, sleep, farm, go to church, raise their kids, they would stop immediately. Right NOW, if only they could. But the regimes soldiers, well, they kept sending bombs. Of course they must fight. Against their will.
And the regime? They couldn’t let these militant Sunni right wing religious nuts take over. The regime is nonsectarian. The regime is anti terrorist. They were…so reasonable. The fact, though, is that the right wing extremist religious dudes over there understand divide and conquer. They know that all they have to do is foster suspicion and prejudice. That’s easy enough to do. It’s how they recruit new members. Members who don’t seem to mind blowing themselves up.
Hmmmm….who the hell is telling the story!? Seriously. Isn’t someone right and someone else wrong? When you show both sides of the story it’s confusing. I’m from North America. I’m used to being told in black and white. This is what is happening. This is why. You decide if you like the idea or not. In Syria? Such nice people. Why are they mad at each other? At me? At The Regime? All of a sudden at each others religion? Because if you knew Ali, my friend and fellow waiter at The Top of Vancouver, you’d love him too. He’s Syrian. His family was amazing. Beautiful people too. Nice teeth and hair. Just saying. Stop fighting and sit down for a second. Lets eat. Lets talk.
War. Boarders. Senseless violence. Let me assure you, what happened in Syria can happen here. Try and reason with a bunch of fat ass, pro gun, pro automatic weapon, pro right wing, pro right religious, paranoid red necks -or read that as ‘try and reason with a bunch of fat ass, pro gun, pro automatic weapon, pro right religious, paranoid Muslims.’ They are NO DIFFERENT. Even their religions are similar, exclusive and mean spirited. Oh…shoot. No pun intended. I hope this doesn’t upset people. People here are used to peace in the USA. Peace in Canada.
New Zealand and Canada don’t register guns. The two countries register handguns and military-style semi-automatics, but not rifles and shotguns. How many have died here in the States because of guns this year? 30,000? It will be more by the 1/2 year mark. God…30,000 dead and there’s no war on. Technically. There is though. The Tea Partiers are likely to shoot your ass dead if you stray onto their front lawn. And no one is likely to prosecute them either.
But it’s far far more fragile than you think. Do you really believe that our army would let a bunch of religious nuts start shooting civilians? Wouldn’t they step in? Wouldn’t they start hunting them down, out of thier mountain strong holds and try and bring them to justice? Wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t YOU be pissed if they started shooting at your son, your brother, your kid? Oh, you know you would be. And plenty of guys in our army, YES the army of the USA, would defect over to them. They agree with the right wing nutbars and they would change sides, with their guns, just like in Syria. They would capture weapons, they would shoot farmers, kids, civilians, just like In Syria…they’d be sorry. Darn that other side.
We would fight back. To keep those nutty pro gun right wing assholes from taking over, wouldn’t we? Wouldn’t we?! Shit. I’ve scared myself. The thought of that level of violence isn’t impossible here. I can see it. All the mothers, packing Dodge trucks and the trunks of Kia Sorrentos with blankets and diplomas and photo albums and tents. Running in front of the armies. Running from the jets dropping bombs. On Georgia. On Florida. On Ohio. The other side with their stolen weapons aimed at the Pittsburgh suburbs. Civilians with their children bleeding in thier arms, screaming at cameras ‘Help me! Oh god, please. They are buried. Please help me thats my parents house!’ and there will be no help. I saw that happen last night. Everyone will be paralyzed. Look at Syria please look. Those are civilized people in a civilized nation. Really. They are NO DIFFERENT from us. Educated, smart, beautiful people with a working political structure, police, infrastructure. They had it. We have it. It can disappear overnight.
In the Orontes River Valley, it’s like the Hatfields and McCoys. 70,000 killed. 4,000,000 refugees. Why won’t they stop? Syria. I knew Syrians. Regime jets, bombs, whoever prevails will inherit revenge. Syria used to be lovely. The land and the people. Now, it looks broken, torn and discarded. They’re shooting farmers and shepherds and children. The bravado is staggering. The posturing and shouting, the fascination with death and destruction. The gruesome smiles. ‘I killed a man in that very doorway. Yes, and that doorway too.’ Horrid, bragging men, shrieking women, terrified fathers and mothers begging someone, anyone, to help them dig their parents out of the collapsed buildings. It’s unimaginable.
Isn’t it? And I’m lying here wondering how MY life is? How I’m going to get by? Shit…I’m good. I’ll take that little bit of insurance money I get and make it work. I’ll get better, I’ll beat this and I’ll go back to work. I’ll buy my nice shirt for $10 and my ‘fancy’ lunch out. And from now on I will thank, who? Christ? No. I’m afraid of god. I don’t want him to notice me. He’s busy over in Syria apparently. No. I’ll thank the gov’t and stability for my peaceful life. I’ll thank myself for speaking up and saying what I believe is right. Not just sitting and hoping I don’t offend people. That’s not how my generation did it. We stood up. My Mom and Dad stood up, with us. They taught us the right way to be a citizen of the world, not just Canada. Not just the USA. They showed us and they led by example. Mom never said better not talk politics and religion. You’ll offend someone.
I’m afraid of god and religion. I always have been. I am a liberal. I am NOT ready to fight. I am not ready to pack the Chevy Lumina and go to my brothers house. To find it in ruins. No. I’m not ready. I’ve got a fight on my hands right now. It’s my battle. I don’t even know if I’m winning. Who do I talk to? Can I get some batteries in this walkie talkie? Who is in charge? How did the other side get those weapons? Where is the army? Who killed my life? Someone help me…