America the beautiful

The phone rings.

I answer.

In Spanish: “I’m Fulano etal (Mexican John Doe). Mario’s friend. You remember the guy that bought the horse? I have a really big favor to ask.”

“I need a place to stay. Things are bad for me now. I just got out of jail.”

“I’m living in a car. But I got a job.”

“What happened to the restaurant?”

“I sold it. My wife got the money. I married another woman. We fought. She called the cops.”

Another call. Another friend.

“I need to borrow money. The truck I use to come to work—the finance company is looking for it. My grandmother reported it stolen. A friend has a car for sale. $1,200. He needs the money, but it has to be today.”

The phone, again.

“Your diesel bill for the month of March has not been paid….”

More calls.

A horse is colicking.

Abraham is drunk. Has been since Sunday.

Bearing went out on a disc.

Tractor tire, flat again.

Manuel thinks it’s sabotage.

I know better.

Shit happens.

You have a bull out on my place. Big spotted Brahman.

I have a bull out of his pen on my own place. Holstein-Jersey cross. Along with some dairy heifers.

Guess I left the gate unlatched last night. Go to catch that motherfucker.

The immigration lawyer wants more money. I’ll pay you back man.

All of this before milking.

I encounter a man at a nearby trailer park. A new neighbor. Ex-special forces.

Trying to kick the drugs the government uses to chemically lobotomize him. Handfuls of pills with names I don’t recognize. He quit all of them.

Can’t sleep. Killed kids sent into the mine fields. Shot them in the fucking head. 50 cal.

The way he moves, acts: rapid fire speech, jittery movements; looks, smells, tastes like meth to me.

This gang controls this, that gang controls that. Another over there.

More gangs than I can keep up with. I don’t want to know.

There’s dope everywhere. So much dope they’re burying the shit…

Everyone has dope, everyone’s the dealer. Who’s the John with a fucking job to sell the shit to?

Meanwhile, cops watch. Listen. Wait.

I best be moving along.

I call to check on the one horse I have left in training.

My trainer answers, from the emergency room.

Heart, again.

Horse is fine. He isn’t.


Time for lunch.

America the beautiful.

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Don Henry Ford Jr.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Trudging through the drudgery.
    We need to reduce life to the basics. It’s chasing after all that other shit that got us in this mess.
    Hang in there.

  • This is really great writing. I know that because I don’t know what to say about it. Everyone’s world is falling apart, and…..

    No one’s got any answers. Except to stop and think about the lives you’ve just described and how the world is dissolving around all of us.

  • Don sounds about right.

    I helped my neighbor for 13 months so he wouldn’t become homeless. He helped build my greenhouse and split wood so it worked out I guess. The person was one of the hardest people to help I’ve ever met. He made it to SS and collected it for 14 months. He passed away a month ago even though he had health care he didn’t go to the Dr. and died of heart attack. Strange but as N points out it going down and I don’t really see any light at the end of the tunnel not even the train light since they seem to catch on fire.

    I’m now just taking of myself, it’s all I can do.

  •    John Michael Greer had some interesting observations over at Archdruid Report:

    Meanwhile, in Detroit and Baltimore, tens of thousands of residents are in the process of losing their access to water and electricity.
    The situation in both cities is much the same, and there’s every reason to think that identical headlines will shortly appear in reference to other cities around the nation.

       Some time ago I was talking to a ‘prepper’ who was building a haven somewhere remote – the traditional ‘off grid’ setup: solar hot water and electricity, canned food, guns/ammo, etc. I asked what he was going to do when he couldn’t get replacement parts for all his gadgets. He answered that he’d just stock up on spare parts to last him the rest of his life. (I got mine – screw the next generation? Thank God he was single/childless). I suggested he learn to live without electricity and he looked like I’d pole-axed him – totally unable to process the concept.
       I grew up spending a lot of time working on a ranch with no electricity. Hand pump in the front yard, outhouse in the back (luxury was a hand pump by the kitchen sink), ice cut from the lake in the winter and kept in a super-insulated ice-house for use in ice-boxes. Even the gas pump that supplied our tractors was hand-pumped & gravity feed. And we still kept and used horses for part of the haying operation and moving cattle and we could have eliminated the tractors without losing much except efficiency.
       I am currently looking into various places where I can downscale to a similar lifestyle. Growing most of my food, weaving cloth, keeping goats, sheep, chickens, etc. A major consideration re the location is a community that is appropriate to those circumstances.
       The longer we wait, the greater the shock is going to be.

  • Don’t Know…,
    if it would be technically defined as stream of consciousness writing…, but it is powerful and effective…, right on partner…, write on.

    A lot of folks think that loading up on guns and ammo is essential…, but I worry more about how I will defend myself from my starving friends and neighbors when I have a…, maybe…, two month supply of food to feed my family before the next potato crop is ready for harvest.. A gun isn’t going to help you make a tough call like that…, and I fear that we will all be making some damn tough calls in the years ahead.

  • Don, I don’t know what to say. But I think you’re not stupid and will figure it out.
    I found my way and think you’ll find yours…

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