It is rare that my writing gets flattered. I was flattered twice in the last 24 hours. What are the odds? The best I can say till now is that when I’ve read my poetry at open mikes (like the Stone Soup Poets) invariably some unshaven, bluejeaned holdover from the 1970’s comes up to me and says, “Hey man, I like your stuff.” Stuff isn’t the right word but why get offensive so soon.
I used to write a political polemic every two weeks for the Belmont Citizen. The column was a commentary on local politics. It is sadly amusing to see what fully-grown fetuses (that’s a fancy way of saying adults) do to stroke their egos when placed in “political” situations. By that I mean Selectmen, members of haughty elected and appointed boards as well as politically appointed police and fire chiefs. I gave it up when, even by my standards, they got way out of control and over the top.
Every week I got more and more outrageous but no one ever complained or bothered to send a letter, pro or con, to the editor. The closest anyone ever came to telling me what they thought of my writing was a woman in the local Rotary Club who made it a point of telling me that she knew “what the people of Belmont thought.” I just smiled and nodded as if to acknowledge her great insight. I probably rolled my eyes too but she was to busy with her self-congratulation to notice.
What made me quit was this: There was a cop diddling little boys and everyone knew about it, from the Police Chief to the Board of Selectmen and no one said a word for years. Those Selectmen and the Police Chief (as well as the offensive cop) are all history now. Then there was the great tax giveaway where McLeans Hospital leaned on the town to limit their tax exposure … in perpetuity. What were they going to do, leave town? The final straw came when the Mormons ran roughshod over the town said they would build their temple any damn way they pleased and did. It’s something like 200 feet tall on the highest point in town for all to see. The town retaliated by going wet for the first time in 100 years and giving liquor licenses to just about anyone that asked. I had hoped that the town would have gone one step further and declare the property all around the temple an “adult entertainment district.” It would have served the Mormons right. I have no use for supercilious cults and that includes the Mormons, the Scientologists, and even the poor old Swedenborgians (not many of them left) not to mention the Christian Scientists as well as the Roman Catholic Church and, from what I can tell, most if not all, of Islam and anyone else that pretends to possess the exclusive truth. If I haven’t offended you by now you’re probably just an artificially intelligent robot crawler (Hello Google).
Anyway, getting back to my point. I was flattered twice in 24 hours. Last night I stopped at a very shi-shi French restaurant a town or so over (in my town there is one blue collar beer joint and a Chinese restaurant with a liquor license) and planted myself at the bar. The fellow next to me remembered me and started gushing about the stuff I wrote. I remembered him as a techie so I thought he liked my gonzo tech writing (yes it can be done) but NO! He liked my unfinished novel, War Stories. I might just go back and finish now that it’s been reviewed.
This morning I got an email from a guy I never met named Bill Singleton from Algonquin IL, who said he’s read everything I’ve written from brochures to political articles to this blog. The poor man must have had insomnia, his email was posted at 2:59 A.M. … I’m sure I put him to sleep. Well Bill, if you are still up this one is for you.
… and thank you for your support.