Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Gift

If the issue I'm having with the city is not enough, I bike. Yesterday morning I was nearly run over by a city school bus on the way to work. I had the right-of-way, but the driver rolled the bus through the stop sign and punched the accelerator. I was carrying a heavy pack, the brakes were wet. Had I been moving faster I 'd be under the care of the Health Care Industry.

The driver looked out the window, waved, and smiled. This, the morning after my bike ride to the mega-mall. Biking through the city can be both infuriating and dispiriting, when you realize that you have just biked a mile(s) one way, but you now have to bike back the way you came, because the people who designed this urban environ never walk or bike anywhere. A bike commute should be a requirement for all urban planners.

I've been feeling a bit like the whole world is against me, which is not a good feeling. Nor is it accurate. The guy on the phone from the city yesterday, when I asked him what would happen if I walk away from the house, said, "We'll get our money one way or another." He did not say it as a gangster, but as a municipal functionary who did not know what he was saying. All of the city workers I have talked to are like that, messengers for a system that has caught me in a downward spiral, as indifferent to the affect on me as the system is itself. It would be easy to say this is the work of a devil, or some other energy actively working against me. Really, it is just the massive, inhuman, institutional machine, grinding away, consuming blindly, destroying everything it touches. Which we are mostly helpless to affect as individuals. Which we could alter fundamentally if we did so as a community.

It's the political season. But really, the vote is almost meaningless. The vote that really counts, is the dollar. Which we exersize nearly every day. About 70% of the economy is consumer spending. That is immense power, latent.

Anyway, I digress. I set my toy gun statue on the floor of Monster Halloween yesterday morning. I was half expecting to get fired, which wasn't going to happen, but that was the mood I was in. Both owners came into the store and didn't see it, though they both walked past it. Finally, I pointed it out, to the partner who originally didn't want me to buy the guns. He looked at it awhile and said, "I love it!"

Which was an immense relief. Which gave me my confidence back. To know I am supported is a profound gift. A great blessing.

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