July 5th, 2014

Tree Dreaming

Mixed Feelings about 4th of July

The past three years, we've been going with my mom to the horse racing track for July 4th. This is fun because we get to place cheap bets on the horses with the funniest names (our favorite last night was "Seems Legit"), BUT we are surrounded by people who don't know how to pick up their own trash, and the fireworks display is backed by a series of awful "God Bless 'Merica" country tunes.

I have had conflicted feelings about 4th of July since I was a kid. I remember listening to the song "Proud to be an American" and feeling sad because the song was so passionate, and I kept wondering when I would feel proud of my country, too. Like, one day, I would have the history lesson that taught me once and for all how awesome America really is, and I'd be like, "Yes, this is the best place on the planet and I'm super glad I live here."

Now, mind you, I'm not super UN-glad I live here. There are way, way, way, way, way, way shittier places to live. We do have a lot of freedoms people in other countries don't. But we also have to put up with a lot of crap that people in other countries don't (like not being able to afford going to the doctor when we're sick, for one).

So I've always spent the 4th of July enjoying the fireworks, but feeling like the odd man out in a sea of genuine patriotism.

But at least until recently, we'd been going to the Botanical Gardens, where the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra would play Sousa songs and a bunch of other stuff that at least makes me feel proud of the music that's come out of this country.

Last night, I had to watch the fireworks while listening to the words "Won't buy nothin' that he can't fix with WD-40 and a Craftsman wrench." Yes. That is why it's great to live in this country. WD-40.

Another song was all, "This is American and everybody gets to dance," and I couldn't help thinking, "Unless you're gay, or you need an abortion, or you would like affordable access to birth control, or you are trying to live off of minimum wage, etc., etc."

So listening to this music that's all, "I'm super proud to be an ignorant red-neck," it makes it all the more difficult to feel the pride you're supposed to feel, and it makes me feel really weird for sitting around watching the fireworks and attempting to enjoy them.

What I love about 4th of July is that it's another excuse to spend time with my mom and my little sister, but it's a holiday I would be perfectly happy to bow out of celebrating.
Tree Dreaming

LJ Idol - Week 14 - "Confession from the Chair"

Oh, it's you. Haven't seen you in a while. You've grown some since the last time. What's it been, two? Three years?

I have to tell you, it's a relief to only take the weight of a kid your age. Your grandparents, bless them, aren't taking care of themselves like they used to and...well...let's just say the springs in my cushion aren't what they used to be. And your Grand Dad has started wearing those adult diapers, and sometimes...well, I probably shouldn't tell you, or you wouldn't want to sit here.

Your Grand Mom is a bit more gentle of a sit. She tends to leave her yarn here, though. And that attracts that cat.

That caaaaaaaat. Its claws, you have no idea. Look at my armrest, will you? Ripped to shreds. To shreds!!! When I was new, my upholstry felt soft and buttery, and these armrests gave plush support to all who sat. But now...well, you feel them. All torn up by that wretched beast. I feel you, adjusting your arm, trying to find a comfortable place to rest it. I am deeply sorry, but there is none, thanks to those claws.

The creature's done a number on my wooden legs, too. A while back, you could see the carvings my maker took the time to shape into me. They are gone now, whittled away by the cat's need to design her own art. It's much less sophisticated, if I'm being honest.

But at least she's better than that nurse who comes to visit. I don't care for her. She says nice things to your Grand Mom and Grand Dad to their faces, and then she sneaks away in here, whispering awful things into that phone of hers, griping and complaining about her work, about my family. I find myself hoping that she might sit soon after one of Grand Dad's accidents.

Anyway. It's always nice to see you. Listen, I have a favor to ask. They won't be around forever, and I've seen what happens to the others who lose their families...carted out by strangers, never seen again. I don't want that to happen to me.

I know I'm old, I know I've got some stains, and lord knows I could use some work. But you're my family. And maybe...instead of a stranger taking me when they go...maybe you could take me instead?

You don't have to answer now. Just think about it, okay?

Well, enjoy your visit.

Thanks for the sit.