Thursday, December 2, 2010


I'm having breakfast with my friend Snake, tomorrow morning. My clothes are long overdue for a wash. I've been meaning to do it for a week or better, but the opportunity presented itself. Actually, I could have washed my clothes Thanksgiving night, at my sister's; but the truth is, I haven't really cared.

Snake won't mind if I show up smelly, but we'd both rather I smell strong, pleasantly. So, I thought I might try the laundry machine downstairs, though it hasn't run in more than two years. I think the drain is open enough.

A test run. No clothes, just detergent and water. And now there is an inch of water in places, on the floor. Fuck.

I send the sewer auger down the drain. I can feel it building, my anger, the farther the auger reaches toward the sewer. I'm cursing God again. Fuck you God. Fuck you, God. What did I ever do but try to be a good man, to protect the Earth, to treat people well? What the fuck, God?

And I know it's all childish and irrational because I know I've unplugged the sewer as far as this auger will reach and it's another thirty or forty feet to the sewer. I pull the auger out and curse, standing in water. Fuck you God. You know what? Fuck you too, Goddess. What the fuck? What the fuck do you got to say about it? Fuck you.

The whole world is a mess, increasingly ruled by despots, by men seeking to control, to control nations, to control the water, to control food. Fuck you, God. Fuck you, Goddess. What the fuck do you got to say about it? Nothing but silence. Almost nothing but what comes from men who rule, who support rulers.

I'm stomping through the house, cursing. I step outside into the cold, to the garage, to gather a rubber tub I used this summer to gather water under a downspout. I carry the tub downstairs, set it behind the washing machine and hang the washing machine drain from the edge. I fill the machine with clothes, turn it on and stomp upstairs. I sit down on the couch.

They are talking about adding 25,000 field staff at the FDA, pursuant the passing of s510, the Food Safety Modernization Act. I wouldn't mind 25,000 men and women of service, assuring Monsanto, Cargill, Archers/Daniels/Midland etc. don't succeed in taking over the food supply. That's what this bill really is, a response to the local foods movement. Sky gods are losing market share.

What we are likely to get instead is 25,000 attack dogs hounding farmers growing food responsibly and delivering it to their neighbors, eliminating the competition, ruining families. Both parties would squawk "how awful," as they let it happen. The continued centralization of power, the food supply potentially controlled by one man serving a few dozen corporate masters. If you call yourself a Republican and support that, you have lost your way. The Republic cannot stand, the more centralized power becomes, when people lose control of their food supply.

And that is water splashing on my basement floor. Fuck. I walk downstairs, laughing, water pouring over the side of the tub. I shut off the washing machine. Fuck you God. Fuck you Goddess! Waatch you got to say? What the fuck you have to say? And there I am, standing in a pool of water and the extension cord connected to the washing machine is in the water.

That's how Thomas Merton died. A faulty wire connected to a fan, on the floor, in a bathroom, in southeast Asia.

I don't give a fuck how Thomas Merton died! Fuck you, waatch you got? Fuck you! Fry Me! Fuck. Fuck you. Fuck!

I sit down on the washing machine and think about it, my head bowed, my eyes wet, my face numb. You think I'm angry? Spend a week in the jungles of Congo or Columbia, a few days in Mogadishu, a tour in the Afghan/Pakistan borderlands, Hanukkah in the West Bank or Gaza. I'm a puppy dog by comparison.

I walk to the garage, gather another tub and a milk jug with part of the top cut out, return downstairs and transfer water from tub to tub, restart the wash and wait, thinking about those young men I wrote about recently, wondering about wearing my wooden swords and patrolling the park on Fudo Myo, my bike. I heard from a man who knows a man who was in the park that day, who came upon the assault just as it was ending. There were many people in the park that day, it turns out. Had any one of them followed those young men, would the other assaults have happened? I wonder if most Americans are like that, finding reasons not to help, not helping in any way they can if they think there is any kind of danger? For all our talk about freedom, I wonder if we will one day accept a full-on centralized tyranny if we think it will keep us safe?

The wash is done and I carry it upstairs, hang it from 12-2 electrical cord I've strung six ways from screws I tapped into the top of a window and the bathroom door. The irony is, I have pants in the closet I could have worn. I could have patched something together nicely, to make myself presentable, not having had to wash clothes and get water on the floor and add two more tubs of standing water including the bath sink and the rubber tub in the bathtub. But I'm glad to have the clean clothes.

No question, I need to unplug the sewer drain. I need to find an auger that will reach, and maybe make the full commitment and tear up the floor. I have an idea about sending pex water lines down the drain to the sewer, to see if I can generate some radiant heat to help heat the house. I met a man this summer who thinks it will work.

Just don't tell the city I'm trying it.


Chad said...

Why blame god or the goddess when the disrepair and state of the house is squarely on your shoulders? Thank god/goddess that you are able to have a home on which to work.

William Hunter Duncan said...

I am not blaming either. It is only my anger misdirected. More on that in the next post.