ETHOS

ETHOS

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh(io) What a Night



Imagine a tall building.  It is a monument of human striving, yet the process of its composition oppressed many human lives.  Drag butt, cigarette ass, sawdust memoirs.  Concrete drying the spit from our mouths.  Steel beams are not bones.  They're better.

Or are they?

I think I've been away from the city for so long that I've grown a phobia.  The last time I remember being in the city that city was Akron, Ohio, and I was reading (for the first time) the opening lines of Hermann Hesse's Peter Camanzind while driving.  I paused long enough to let the opening lines set in, and, taking my eyes from the road long enough to peer up at the GoJo building almost ran over a Canadian goose that had wandered out into the road.  For some reason the whole incident struck me as so absurd I've never forgotten it.

Yesterday at the polls I looked with admiration at my mud streaked truck parked next to an errant Harley.  The Harley was one of those gratuitous jobs with the fringe and everything, my truck being an ultra-sexy black Ram struck alongside me as some kind of working man's chorus of unspoken tenor, a heathen's litany, the local baseball field named after a local person of note, the guy with long hair, an unscrubbed farmer-philosopher, a time traveler, a San Francisco refugee speaking into someone's open window about some idea, the idea that we should all be able to agree on healthcare, and that it's something we need to support at a state level (why not?).  Inside, working the polls, was the woman from whom we bought our house, a single book on a shelf: Laura Bush's autobiography.  A scrofulous Paul off work as some I.T. guy in the dungeons of steam.

Afterward the meat store, Ohio's largest meat market, a black family: man and woman and two small girls smelling of hash, hugging over the butcher's counter.  The shiny pork livers and blood sausage, the smell, according to one cashier "of straight shit" in the air.  A wonder manure.  A wonderful manner.

Home, nervous.  The washed truck, well earned muck scrubbed from quarter panels, Windex on the wheels, Armour All, Amour All, Issue 2 results on the laptop while my son seeks me from footie pajamas, daddy is in the front yard moving the burn barrel, no need for it now, save the STRIKE for another day.    

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