Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Man with the master plan to rebuild Afghanistan

That was just a dream, that's me in the corner...” - R.E.M. “Losing My Religion”

Indeed. And Mitt Romney must feel that way tonight Tuesday February 5, 2008. He just dropped out of the race to lead the GOP. The Man from Michigan is not used to losing and you could see it in his face for his concession speech this morning. He said, “I don’t like losing...” with kind of a sheepish smile. I can imagine a man like Mitt gets his way most of the time. What does he do now? He made boatloads of money bringing companies back from the brink making the tough cuts for the bottom line. It may not be just a cynical view but also partially accurate to always think that money buys power and power corrupts and corruption is tough on the soul. When the soul is in danger, judgment and integrity slip away in a mountain of tweaked decisions and the water becomes murky.

That is what Mitt was known for. The Ultimate Flip Flopper, his convictions blew away with the wind for so much of his life, that he probably didn’t know what to do when put into a corner by a guy like McCain, with temper, sort of blunt by nature and always able to have the whole Vietnam POW card in his back pocket at all times. After Bush destroyed McCain in the SC primary of 2000, I thought McCain was a goner; never to seek the presidency again, but he is an interesting man of ideology and conviction and no matter what those types always do better in the game of life. A rich man is only as rich as his belief in self. Who he his. Who he was. And who he will become. Mitt was the worst thing you could be in his world: a Massachusetts Liberal. The Governor of the gayest state in the Union and he tried to run to the right. War, Guns, and Religion. When you reach too far, usually the outcome is a bit messy.

Like a painter on a high ladder reaching too far to one side in order get the end of a peak. Sometimes you get it. Other times you get that feeling that it is not worth dying for and go back down and figure out the better way. Then again the greed can overpower your better judgment and you go for it and end up in a full body cast.

Two summers ago I was working for a general contractor, a friggin drunk who never tied the ladders off, nor used gas masks while mixing cement, or painting with lacquer in a basement with no ventilation. He never used a harness while roofing and general safety was completely out the window. He was just waiting for the first drink at noon everyday, which to me was not bad it was actually a fun crew to work on and I still have a soft spot both Andy the General Contractor and Angelo the Journeyman, even though they were both dumb and bloated blowing through life. Angelo introduced cocaine to me. And the first time I ever did the drug was in the bathroom at the legendary Seattle bar: Blue Moon. Which is interesting in itself because it was right around the corner from Layne Staley’s apartment where he was found dead in 2001. Late Layne, obviously the lead singer of Alice in Chains. One coincidental fact of my life as a Seattle native is that I was working selling tickets in the ticket booth across the street from Layne’s apartment at Metro Theaters when the news broke of his death. I sat one Saturday morning reading The Seattle P-I front page news of his death, taking sips of my coffee and gazing across the street at the nothing-special green building behind a Kinko’s Copy Center, Marines Recruitment Center and a Money Tree Money Lender...The body had been lifeless for two weeks and the only reason anyone checked up on him is because his bank noticed no transactions for two weeks, which is not normal for anyone who is frequently ingesting speedballs. AIC was always my favorite band from the Seattle dominated 1990’s.

Two years before Kurt Cobain died the same day and I was driving in front of his house on Lake Washington Blvd. When the news broke that morning on my way to school my junior year of high school. I asked my dad questions about why Cobain would do that the rest of the ride. Those two moments will always be landmarks in my life. And I have always felt a sort of kinship with them both because I was there...sort of like Staind’s Aaron Lewis, who no doubt was most influenced by Staley and who’s child Zoe Jane was born the day Staley died. There is no such thing as coincidence or happenstance. And yes, I got a little off track here for a moment with a quick flash from my past. But I think I had a point somewhere in this gibberish.

Ah, yes Angelo and I were standing on some rickety-ass makeshift scaffolding and we couldn’t quite reach the top of the roof where we needed to install a vent and some more siding, but it just wasn’t working and the rain was coming down. Angelo was yelling at me cause he thought he was going to get electrocuted because we were using a Sawzal: electric saw that looks like a rifle. And conditions were getting worse. He was frustrated and couldn’t quite reach what he needed to. I said, “Fuck it come down we will do it when it stops raining.” He was pissed and kept saying he was gonna die. He wanted to stay and get the job done no matter what.

I said “$15 an hour was not worth dying for.” We did not finish that day.

I took this picture along Lake Washington Blvd. in the Arboretum.

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