Moment I am in the dark. The sun
Is blocked out. I don’t know what to
Do other than keep typing.
The bull. Continue on as if everything
is normal. A yellow chair in
The corner rings the bell of something
Bad is gonna happen. Without the will
To wake up in the morning, you’re left
With soggy Cheerios and warm milk.
Our country has indigestion. You can
Feel it behind your bellybutton. If
Little kids can suck their thumbs
With impugnity, then why can’t our
Leaders do the same. Suck, spit, suck
Again. We’re all watching.
I fear for our country. The sun is blocked
For a moment by a truck. This experiment
Known as America is just that, a truck
Rolling by. Don’t know where it’s going,
Where it’s been or why it’s even here. I
Just hope that its journey is safe and at
The end of the road there is a hug and
a light on the nightstand.
This is all I have for you this morning. I just did a two and a half hour radio show. I stood outside on Indianapolis Boulevard for a half hour. People beeped. I got all excited about that. Big, huge trucks rolled by. I got excited about that, too. What I don’t get excited about these days is politics. We hate each other at the national level. This worries me.
I’m old enough to remember crouching under a wooden desk in case there was a nuclear bomb by the Russians. You get a lot of time to think down there. For some reason, Sister Mary Lynn made us sit down there for like a half hour, the same length of time that I talk on the radio on Indianapolis Boulevard in the morning.
Why so long? I have no idea. And why couldn’t we talk? If a nuclear bomb really were on its way, wouldn’t the appropriate thing be to at least talk about it.
“Penny Shegich, I love you.” That’s what I would have said at St. Thomas More. Penny and I grew up in roughly the same neighborhood and had this on again and off again thing. By sixth grade, I finally called her house with the plan that if her dad answered, I would hang up. That was before cellphones. Dads used to answer the phone a lot back then. After I finally did get Penny on the phone, I confided in her that I was gonna hang up if her dad answered.
“You won’t have to worry about that. There’s no dad in this house.”
That was odd to me. All of my relatives and all of the people on my street behind Arby’s… we all had dads. I couldn’t comprehend that Penny grew up in a house that didn’t have a dad. I couldn’t comprehend years later when Penny got cancer in her 30s. Evidently, for a long time she would splash powder into her underpants. Evidently, that can cause cancer in a woman’s reproductive organs. I can remember right now, clear as day, sitting under a wooden desk looking at Penny Shegich with her legs draped elegantly on the floor. A nuclear bomb never came, Penny, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t.
We did this drill under the desks to protect from nuclear explosions. Sometimes I would be near Penny, so I couldn’t think about anything but her. Other times she was across the room. I could think about other things. Often I would wonder how a nuclear war could start. I don’t know why. I’m naturally curious. I want to know everything about certain topics. When I was dating a gal in high school and she wound up making out with someone else, I would want all of the details.
“Where did this take place? Were the lights on? Was your mom home?” It wasn’t jealousy. I had no right to be jealous. I made out with anyone who would make out with me. It was more curiousity. I want to know details that don’t seem to matter at first but years later they make the whole story.
As far as a nuclar war starting, I wonder if it’s not necessarily us and against them… but us against us. In other words, the general line of thinking is that one day North Korea could lob a nuclear bomb at us. Or the Russians. Or Iran. That’s what we are taught to fear.
But what if it was us against us? We have more nukes than anyone else. What if one faction in this country got control of some of them… and another faction got control of the rest of the nukes? And what if the two factions hated each other, for whatever reasons. These are the kinds of things I thought about under the desk with Penny Shegich, and these are the kinds of things I think about after doing a two and a half hour radio show. There was fear then, of others. There is fear now, of ourselves. Time to go work out. Thanks once again to the three or four of you who care enough about radio and the Region and America to slog through this stuff with me.