The Truth is, well… just the Truth.

For eight years Fox news and Republicans pummeled President Obama and his administration with misrepresentations, false facts, and outright lies. From his birthright and tan suits to Benghazi, the assault was staggering and unfair, with Mitch McConnell stating on the first day of Obama’s Presidency, his objective was to see ‘a one term Presidency’.

Suddenly, the shoe is on the other foot, Fox news is reeling in the ratings, and Conservatives are crying fake news at every opportunity. At face value, one could comprehend the cries of fake news, understand Trumps unending obsession because Conservatives understand the value of a lie. That’s what Fox taught. A lie ain’t all that bad if it supports you emotionally.

The thing is, the truth hurts. Call it fake news if you want, but the difference is, there’s a kernel of truth to what’s being said today. Not made up shit! Not outright lies, rather facts with a basis in truth. So if you have a problem with how our ‘liberal’ news media is portraying Trump, look in the mirror.

Rotgut & Water

Back in the day, I’d walk into the Velvet, the DutchRoom, Blue Ox or Lakeside, and on any given summer night I’d order a house whiskey and water. I was poor, a kid, but I liked my Whiskey. House Whiskey was cheap, rotgut whiskey.

Damn, now there was some good times!

As I got older, my finances improved and I started experimenting with better whiskeys, CC, Jack, Southern Comfort. One particular night, an old geezer, about my age now, slides onto the empty bar stool next to me, and says, ‘Ya know young man, a good whiskey is smooth, meant for shots, not to be mixed with H2O or some sweet water-piss, that’s how a man drinks’.

Now I don’t like to think when I drink, that’s why I drink. But I thought about this, and I thought, ‘you know, the old fuck might be right. Diluting the natural flavor of whiskey might be the wrong way to go’, so I did a shot, and I’ve never looked back. To this day, if I drink hard liquor, and I do, it’s always by the shot. And it’s usually only Tequila, btw!

Confederate statues, like diluted liquor, ain’t right! However, it’s a mans choice to drink how he sees fit, and likely so, it’s a communities choice to build, or remove those things which they see fit. Up here in the great Northland, we don’t build statues to those who were oppressive, to those who wanted to destroy this Nation, and then remake America in the spiting image of the South. So in my book, a Confederate statue is just like rotgut and water, not only offensive, it masks the reality of what that statue really represents to an awful lot of good people.

60

I lay flat on my back in some old pasture splotched with brown grass, a cows head is hung nearby, nibbling, and I’m watching a single, insignificant puff of a cloud wander about a lazy blue sky. Like smoke, the clouds journey is buffeted by the wind. East, West, North or South, the destination is the same, dissipation. A return to oblivion to begin anew.

Even the cow has similarities.

I smile with the thought, the irony. Of a cloud, a cow and a human, the path remains the same.

My hands are folded across my chest, a mosquito lights on a forearm, and begins to feast. I let it. Not because I don’t care, not because I’m not irritated, but because for this moment in time, I think it’s the right thing to do. To give sustenance to some lesser being derived from my personal suffering.

Gorged, full, filled, fat, the insect whines and buzzes off, probably toward the cow, I think. A bloodsucker is never satisfied.

I do not know how I came to be here. There was no direction, no manual, so signage along any path I ever traveled, so I stumbled, missed a turn here and there, wandered from time to time, to end up here. I have regrets, unlike the cow, although the cow may disagree. I wouldn’t know. Regrets only because nothing is preordained, no path laid out in stone. If life was concise, an arrow bent against this blue sky, I would have no regrets. I would not know the meaning of the word.

My thought is interrupted by the cow. A loud, lingering single word sound of base, tone, and reverberation. Perhaps the cow is talking to me, and I smile as I wonder what that damn animal would say. There would be no commonality, no foundation for words to speak with each other. Then I ponder, the cow might be the smart one.

I have never been the smart one. I think back to the desert, the jungle, the firepit, and ask if they were, indeed signs along my path, but settle upon acknowledgement they were nothing more than the mosquito, an intrusion. Intrusions, I perhaps, allowed. And if they were by chance, guideposts, they were as human signage often is, vague, offbeat and of little value. The map I’ve been looking for was bigger, laid out in the heavens, written by the hand of God. Intelligence is the ability to quiet the confusion, to discern the word of God from the voice of man. Perhaps it is the breath of the almighty that drives the cloud, than the cloud has no choice. The cloud has no choice, regardless.

My life has always been the world. That is what has meaning. What lies beyond the boundaries of my sphere is of little consequence, and lesser meaning. I have always explored my world. Turned every rock, listened to every bird song, sought answers to unknowable questions, and now I find myself wondering if those answers are to be found beyond the borders of my own private universe. As vast as my existence is, here in a field with a cloud, a cow and a bellicose bloodsucker, might there be more?

I do not want to grow old. I’m not afraid to grow old.

I’m afraid of not being able to take another walk down some ill-defined path, of passing through the door without the right answers, without the knowledge that allows that entrance to call out to me asking for my tome, to verify my life.

Is that what life is? To find meaning? To have meaning? To be able to claim when the far world reaches out, I have answers. I have knowledge. But what knowledge could I possess on my death, that old friends would care to hear? None, I suspect.

There is, I think, a larger question. I do not follow it, I don’t like the thread, the texture of the thought. For one who lies in a field with questionable associates, the question is sour. If I am that guide, that marker along your way, I have failed miserably. The cow wanders off without discourse, the cloud dissipates without direction, and the bloodsucker is justly swatted.