Yo. You know what I’m sayin’?

Looking through the closet for a clean shirt.  Why do I wait so fucking long to do laundry?  Every few weeks, I find myself wearing  a t-shirt from 1998, shorts with what I hope is paint on them, and boxer-briefs with the nut area worn out of them.  All because I didn’t do laundry.  I know it’s been too long when I end up wearing a pair of Simpsons boxers.  We’re talking circa ’95.  Circus ’95?  Shut it.

If I gave you three guesses, I’m sure you’d eventually say the Flagler shirt.  For a while there, I wasn’t photographed in anything else.  Come to think of it, the shirt does kinda smell like Emily Hunter…

While yanking the gray tee off the hanger, I turned to the sound of my ringing phone.  (I swear to friggin’ God: as soon as I typed that, some dude here in Starbuck’s phone started ringing.  Shit.  You.  Not.)  Back at home about an hour ago, my phone rang and displayed a 904 number.

“904?” I wondered aloud.

Tapping the green phone icon, I spoke.


“Rob Gardner?”

“This is he.”  He.  Hehehe.  I should drop myself for speaking that way.

On the other end of the call was a man I knew from AA in St Augustine.  In fact, he was one of the guys who encouraged me to sponsor a kid who’d eventually be murdered in a soured drug deal.  Some get it, some do not.  I’m fortunate…

Anyhow, my old friend was in the car, driving the last leg of a trip north to visit a couple of his children with whom he’d reconnected thanks to sobriety.  Doing what many often do, he had been scrolling through numbers until he reached mine and reached out.  For those who don’t know, a big part of recovery is staying out of your own brain, especially when the committee is trying to run things.  That’s what he was doing.

Funny, because I have a tendency around my birthday to want to withdraw.  All the hoopla that surrounds the 4th, the partying, the crowds, I just don’t feel it anymore.  I prefer isolation.  Well, maybe not to that extent.  But you feel me.

We spoke of that, caught up a little, and then said see ya later and take care.  Brief.  But enough of a reminder.  I alone lack all the answers but I alone can seek those for myself.  Even though my phone rang, and even though I did get a nudge, it’s not as though he called and said, “Yo Rob, turn your phone up because I possess all the answers you’ve been looking for – all you have to do is listen.”

Just yesterday I was discussing life with someone and she totally called me out on being a perfectionist.  Then today, my buddy called himself a control freak and I knew exactly what he was talking about.  The ol’ I-want-what-I-can’t-have-and-don’t-want-what-I-can.  Something along those lines.    Too funny…

*****     *****     *****

So I’m walking out my door and the sneakers I’m putting on are at the top of the stairs where I leave them and I’m holding some papers and coupons so I shift them under my stub in order to free my hand and I slip on the two sneakers and just as I slip into the left New Balance five of the coupons go fluttering towards the steps and like Chuck fucking Norris riding a lightning bolt I snatch not one or two but all five leaves of falling flipping paper.  It was pretty fucking cool—I even impressed myself.  And you all know how hard that is.  You know, like if I’d caught four and one fell, I’d think “what the fuck, man?  There  I go, allowing things to succumb to gravity.  Again.  I never catch all five things.”  But I did, and it was neat.

*****     *****     *****

The Great and Powerful?  Wasn't Oz a show on HBO about prison?  Hmmm...

The Great and Powerful? Wasn’t Oz a show on HBO about prison? Hmmm…

I think I’m going to leave some things alone for a little while…  But a storm is brewing.  My brother has been pointing some things out lately, mostly through Facebook, that speak volumes to the hypocrisy upon which this country is so delicately teetering.  I know these words will potentially place me upon a list.  So be it.  I love my home.  I fucking loathe the people and the institutions which control it.  Our supposedly-elected officials continue to make decisions that involves unfathomable amounts of money, the blatant waste of finite resources, and in reality strengthen those who wish us harm, doubling the weakening effect on the “voters.”  “Citizens.”

Tomorrow, Independence Day, we celebrate our “liberty” from the British Crown.  Hip, hip, hoofuckingray.  I’d gladly pay tax on a pound of Tetley if it meant we didn’t have to tolerate the insane bullshit that our “government” forces upon us.  It’s a fucking disgrace and a sham being perpetrated on the entire world.  And when I say “Wake up,” I’ll be labelled a kook.  Paranoid.  Anti-something or another.

Case in point:  Ten years ago, we set to war with Afghanistan to hunt down “terrorists.”  Don’t get me twisted—those people fucking hate us.  But, as I type this, “rebels” in Syria are attempting to depose a corrupt government with the not-so-tacit support of our government.  Oh, and when I mention anything that th government is doing, what I’m really saying is our money.

Schools her are failing.  miserably.  Nearly 4,000 employees from the Philadelphia School District, canned.  See ya.  Nurses, counselors, and a host on “non-essential” workers get fired because there’s a $300 million shortfall.  Um, pardon me, but how the fucking-fuck do you come up $300 million short?  That kinda number doesn’t sneak up on you.  No, you hear it’s engine roaring in your fucking direction at 100 miles per hour.  They talked in circles about something called a “doomsday budget.”  Bare-bones.  School, but not really.  Pennsylvania did their FY 2013-14 budget and added $14 million to what they were going to allot Philly schools.  Which leaves the school district no less than $106 million short for 2013-14.

To put this into another perspective, a man who has recently been charged in the execution-style murder of another man—as well as being implicated in other murders and crimes going back years—had only a short time prior to, signed a contract to play football worth #37.5 million, $12.5 mil of which the man received up front as a “signing” bonus.  Someone handed him a check worth approximately 4% of what the Philadelphia School District needs to operate this year.  One man.  For signing his name.  his contract alone accounts for more than 12% of the $300 million.  One man.  And that man executed someone in cold blood, supposedly for talking to someone else.

What would possess a man who seemingly has it made, who can live a life beyond most any person’s wildest dreams, to throw it all away by taking another man’s life?  What?  Oh.  Yeah.  He thought he was untouchable.  That he could do whatever the hell he wanted to because he had money.  This guy had a fraction of the money school districts, municipalities, and governments spend to operate.  Numbers unimaginable to you and me.  And he thought he could get away with murder.

Now, think back to that $300 million.  That the school district doesn’t have.  They spend hundreds of millions of dollars “educating” children, yet our kids can’t read and flunk math and are falling behind youth from around the world in science and arts and other skills and abilities – knowledge – that they’ll need to compete in what’s sure to be a ferocious and frightening future.

So the question remains: Where the fuck is all this money?  Where has it gone if not to educate?

If $37.5 is enough to make one man act the way he did, what does the hundreds of millions do to those authorized to cut checks from it?  Did they honestly think they could continue to waste money, essentially burning it and throwing the ashes of ignorance into the wind and no one would notice?  That was your money.  Property taxes.  Money from the state?  Also yours.  Any money held by a government or its institutions comes from one source: the people.

This is just one example of the gross mismanagement of resources that we’ve allowed to go on for way too long.  Time is running out, gentle reader.  Very soon, we will be beyond broke.  Looking to our global neighbors for financial assistance.  But not without cost.  The very people we are arming in Syria, the same people who beheaded a Catholic priest and posted it inline for the world to see, are the people who cannot wait for us to go belly-up.

And it’s not just them.  I read an article recently that described a joint plan between the Russian and American (that’s yours) governments that calls for Russian troops to contribute to American security matters in what would be deemed by FEMA as “National Security Events.”  Um, if it’s a matter of national security, why the fuck would the Russian military be taking part if not as the aggressor?  Are we really going to allow foreign troops to operate on our soil in a military or security capacity?

Granted, we do this all over the world.  But we’re the US of motherfucking A.  Right?  Um…  What the hell are we doing?  “Investing” overseas and wasting here at home.  Bolstering them and weakening us.  Does this not seem counterintuitive to you, registered voter and taxpayer?  Where does it end?  When?

Once everything is privatized and run by a corporate, global government?  Maybe.  And maybe the queen is a lizard that eats babies.  Maybe GWB and BHO are cousins.  Or maybe we’re just passengers on a sinking ship and the only lifeboats belong to the filthy fucking rich, who act with complete impunity because they have all the power.

What it boils down to is this: Our priorities require some serious thought.  The people we prop up and the institutions we trust need to be seriously scrutinized.  If they don’t pass they eye test, if they stink of a rat, or if they blatantly disregard the safety and well-being of the people, then they need to be replaces.  Counterintuition’s gotta be replaced with intuition.

Something has to change.  Soon.  And certainly not the bullshit this country was sold in 2008 and which it bought again in 2012.  What’s changed?  Perhaps only the rate at which this country is falling apart.  Well, that and the rate at which we become blind to what’s really happening.

My brother made an excellent point when he expressed his outrage over the priest’s execution in Syria.  He stated that we as a nation should be enraged and demand that our government stop supporting the animals that seek to kill us.  “Buy hey, let’s worry about Paula Deen.”

It’s time to start paying attention to the men behind the curtain, folks.

Thanks for stopping by.

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