Thursday, November 18, 2004
An ordinary morning at the gym ended on an oddly sinister note that swelled into a ominous chord when, later, I watched the orchestrated festivity and torrential rains surrounding the opening ceremony at Bill Clinton’s privately and federally funded attempt at immortality.
Arriving at the gym after the morning rush, I ended today’s routine by dressing in a nearly empty locker room.
While quietly drying my feet, a habit deeply ingrained from horrifying Army films on neglected extremities, two men, deep in conversation, came into the room and opened lockers that, while out of my line of sight, were close enough to overhear even whispered discussions.
The men obviously felt the locker room was empty.
They were reviewing their plan to force certain members of their church from the congregation.
The plan, as I overheard it, seemed sinfully devious and grew in nefarious detail as I, increasingly interested, listened to the expanding outline.
Their victims, as these two men described them, were oblivious to the game.
Indeed, the planners, as evidence of their hatching plan’s eventual success, mocked the target’s belief in the very friendship that would force their exile.
I felt sick hearing the ugly intent of this discussion but I was unable to force my attention elsewhere.
This overheard conversation seemed more than the usual behind the altar hoohaw besetting the temporal focus of your ordinary run of the mill neighborhood church.
Finally, getting to the meat of the issue, the one fellow said, “And then we’ll be rid of him.”
His church mate and gym companion asked, “Just him? Not the others?”
His co conspirator replied, “What others?”
The companion said with ever more increasing ferocity, “Why all the other liberal Democrats.”
Quietly laughing the friend said, “There really aren’t that many of ‘em,” paused and appearing to recognize the depth of their sin said quietly, “Shhh!”
By this point I was dressed, without my glasses and standing half inside a connecting companionway.
One of the fellows, a little man nude and pink, stepped away from his locker and saw me standing there.
He sort of paused and, curiously considering his regular highly involved church attendance, made no motion to cover himself.
I hope my face reflected my thoughts but without my glasses I could not see the expression on his little pink blur of a face.
I was revolted.
How many other post-election cabals and “cleansings” among the lesser lights were being similarly hatched across America thanks to the ugliness of the recently concluded Presidential campaign and the implied conduct of the various politicians and enablers since?
Can the toothpaste of democracy ever be jammed back inside what is looking to be an increasingly fascist or imperial tube?
The conversation left my mind with the intrusion of regular activities until I had the misfortune to watch a few brief moments of the ceremony at the Clinton Library on one of the cable channels.
Without wanting to appear naive or beset with the increasingly popular sense of conspiracy, I must admit to feeling somewhat shocked with the presence of both Presidents Bush, President and Senator Clinton and even, though relegated offstage and out of the realm of cults of personality and privately funded pyramids, the Kerry’s.
It all seemed so revoltingly convivial and at odds with the depression and nightmares that have accompanied my last few elections.
Just who are these bloodless, dare I say, people?
Are we, the worker bees or grist for the mill, just so much backdrop and tapped purse to this humdrum pharonic pageantry?
It’s all becoming just a bit too revolting to eyes more accustomed to weary G.I. faces, the elderly’s fear and metropolitan decay.
I guess I’m glad old heartsick Bill has his temple, eternity and the friendship of the very Bushes who tried to destroy him even as it mocks the last two years, if not more, of ugly national conduct.
Will any of these new American gods find the time in their busy schedules to dash off a quick note to my gym conspirators and others like them across our torn country?
Dear Mr. and or Mrs. Blank, Thanks for the blood and cash but we were only kidding. The pogrom has been rescheduled until 2006 or 8 so please make kissy-face with your demonized neighbors, return the feathers to your torn pillows and reduce the heat under those bubbling pots of pitch because all is well in America.