Parden me, Ma’am! I just happen to see things differently. I voted for the other guy.
Yes, I know. This world is going to hell in a handbasket. The kind of basket that catches fire quite easily. Your political insight tells you that. I know, you told me; this world is doomed to a fiery destruction. I believe your sincerity. I can smell it, too. Has an odor to it that I think a dog might find interesting? Like sniffing the behind of his new pal.
I changed my party affiliation. I no longer vote a party line.
Most of the policies of the left blatantly leave holes, half-truths, and bald-faced impossibilities. The politicians who pulpit-ize them all graduated from the University of Word Dance and Deception.
The broadcast policies of the right also contained momentarily enter, pause and leak from wicker baskets that both contrast and congrue the holey buckets of the left. Their baskets of abominable theories of right and wrong not only flare up at the sight of a battery-powered candle; they sport holes that pore out liquid falsehoods about as fast as their politicians upchuck more of them into their wicker sidings. I think the right wingers generally graduated from the University of Duck, Dodge and Dirty.
My view perceives a different landscape.
Speaking of holes . . ..
* * * * *
My holey socks disappeared. Tossed into the trash, to be burned at the dump. My favorite ones. The ones I expected to last into eternity. Therefore, the holy ones. So much for my expectations! So much for my faith in the everlasting!
I’m sure this is partly why I married. I always knew I needed someone to corral my unreasonable expectations.
On the other hand, I don’t need someone else bursting my hope for eternity. Everlasting bliss. My earthly bliss comes partly from my old socks.
I love my old socks. Like old political friends. The left and the right. The now departed.
They remind me why I choose political independence. The policies of both leave holes. Comfortable and cuddly when I wore their aspirational solutions like a warm wrap-around. Before our divorce, their arrogance gave me confidence. My old socks gave me assurance of eternal bliss.
Now, my political perspectives don’t have holes. At least, not as gaping as theirs. Not as see-through as my socks! Ignorance is bliss!
* * * * *
The rooster crows before the break of dawn. Wakes up the neighborhood. Auditioning for the Army bugle corp. Establishes the rules for the roost. Wake-up time, anyway. Full of testosterone. Male “go juice”. Arrogance that crowns ignorance as king, and intelligence as pawn.
Roosters reign as natural born politicians.
* * * * *
I noticed, when I visited Tanzania, that chickens don’t mind the dust. They run around in it. They peck at it. They ruffle their feathers and create their own mini dust storms. The ruffled feathers, the ones they fluffed the dust off, serve as landing pads for the newly blown-up particles from their personal dust clouds.
They all have skinny legs. Pointy toes. Nails that need clipping. Appendages that obviously need ankle coverings.
I wonder if they could do with a pair of my old socks. They could still scratch the dust. Might warm their legs, though. Skinny legs need warmth. Or not.
* * * * *
My perspectives changed about a year ago. Then, I knew right from wrong. I could tell what was wrong by checking my pawns at the coat rack and donning my kingly head-covering of arrogance. A rooster then. A quieter diplomat, now.
Could have kept accepting the injection of anti-go-juice. They called it, Lupron. Testosterone slayer. Manhood mollifier.
Considered the alternatives. All rather complicated. I chose the simple. They called it Orchiectomy.
The surgeon offered a prosthetic. Wasn’t sure why I needed one. But I considered it because he suggested it. Considered walking around the men’s locker room after a work-out. Showering with my buddies who couldn’t give a rip. Decided I couldn’t give one, either.
I look at the hens differently now. I don’t crow much anymore. Probably get along much better, both with roosters and hens. Actually, I consider myself blessed. Should have done this years ago, if they would have let me. Guess I needed to wait for a disease to get me covered under Medicare.
* * * * *
I remember one morning during my visit to Tanzania. The chickens wore their silence like the oldest honorees of the Dead Poets’ Society.
As we walked by them on the back veranda, they didn’t move. They didn’t make a peep. As we turned to walk to the car, they erupted into applause like they were cackling for a wonderful performance of the Halleluiah Chorus at Christmas.
I turned to Lota. He smiled. He said, “One of the hens just laid an egg!”
The next day, the back door must have left itself unlatched, cracked a little. As if the hen knew that Friday passed into yesterday, Miss Chicken wandered into and through the kitchen to the storeroom. I wanted to shoo her back to where she came from. Lota said, “That’s OK. She just wants some quiet to lay another egg. This time, in private.”
The other chickens continued their more relaxed happiness outside. They probably applauded her more quietly that day. At least, I didn’t notice the frantic applause after Miss Chicken evaded the chicken coop egg gatherer for a second day in a row.
I admired the spirit of those chickens. Not quite like that of politicians. Not quite like the crow of a rooster at dawn. Reminded me of the parable of the lost sheep. You know, the one where the shepherd celebrated at its finding and rescue. Like the Christian, I suppose, that lost his way, perhaps listening to politicians too closely, or just following a temptation driven by testosterone. Celebrated by the Master whose personal attachment to every sheep caused jubilant embrace of love come to roost. Perhaps those chickens didn’t don a hat of intelligence. But they certainly mimicked the momentary ponderings of a silent prayer. Spiritual Chickens. A reverential moment.
The next day, Lota bought a chicken from the market. Locked it in the storeroom where Miss Chicken last lay her egg. He took the egg from the corner and put it on the counter for later boiling.
We ate freshly made chicken soup that night. With a hard-boiled egg, to boot.
Thought about eternity. Thought about my holy socks that should have made it there, but instead got thrown into the dump to be burned.
Thought about the example of Christ washing the dusty feet of His friends. Dusty, because nobody threw away their holy socks.
* * * * *
Think I might go get a foot massage later today. The kind where the masseuse first dunks my feet into a bucket of warm, soapy water. Then washes them. Then massages them until they feel like they’ve reached eternal heaven.
Maybe, I’ll clip my chicken-like toenails first. Would hate to cause my masseuse a scratch.
I’ll probably wear a new pair of socks, though. Wouldn’t want my holy ones to announce my arrogance, or political incorrectness. When I reach a state of eternal bliss, maybe I’ll pause quietly. Maybe say a prayer. Maybe imitate a spiritual chicken.
Don’t think I’ll ever return to normal. Sometimes change registers new permanent residence. Sometimes not. But my new manhood suits me. Maybe even like an old pair of holy socks. Maybe like the firm embrace of a politician’s rhetoric.
When my first entourage and I visit Tanzania together, one of the exercises that we’ll perform will involve the washing of each others’ feet. Maybe we’ll see whose feet gets closest to eternal heaven. Before we go back outside and claw the dust back into a mini dust cloud. At that point, we might just cackle like a group of hens celebrating the “back to normal”.
Seems like our old habits get closer to eternity than our old socks!
Maybe they should both get thrown in the trash and burned at the dump.
When the rule maker does that, I’ll pause. Give it a reverential moment.
April 17, 2021