Politics Rant Think

Two Cents

When I heard last night on TV that Ralph Nader has thrown his hat into the presidential race again, I was appalled, again. Can’t the man take a hint? Doesn’t he realize that he and his dreadlocked, patchouli-stinking minions are the reason we’re stuck with George W. Bush? In an ideal world, perhaps his politics would be nice, but the plain truth is that he’s unelectable, and due to the fact that he’s an independent candidate and won’t be weeded out through delegate process, he’ll be in the final race if he chooses to be, which means that every vote cast for him is a vote cast for the Republicans. I can’t figure out if it’s pure egomania that keeps him going for it, or if in his delusional little mind he thinks he has a chance to win–or if perhaps he’s just a really good Republican decoy.

I’m almost as liberal as they come, and I’m damn ready for a change in our government, but I’m also smart enough to realize that change is not going to come from Ralph Nader. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of tree-hugging idealists who are not smart enough to realize that when they vote for him they’re voting for exactly the opposite of what they want.

Give it up, Ralph. The limelight’s shone on you one too many times, and it’s high time for you to do something that will help your supporters see the change they’re looking for: walk away.

Blather Pointless Narcissism Travel

Recreational Ferry-Riding

Yesterday, I realized that my credit card bills were due… today. Which means that the only way to pay them was to go off-island to the Bank of America branch in Woods Hole and pay them in cash. Rather than simply riding across on the boat (which would have cost 11 dollars round trip), paying my bills and riding back, I decided to give the boat riding a wider purpose. So I invited my sister to accompany me for ferry-riding and chinese food, at Peking Palace in Falmouth (a rare treat for those of us who live on the island, where the Chinese restaurant is nicknamed the “Gaggin’ Dragon”).

After some brief discussion about the weather and the cost of taxis, we decided to bring the car. It would cost about the same anyway, right?


Because with the car, there came the possibility of shopping. Specifically the possibility of buying things that were too large to carry on the boat by hand. I spent enough money to get to California and back.

A rough inventory:

Bamboo rug for my kitchen
Four pairs of pants, two of which are a bit goofy
A gigundo thing of toilet paper
A ruffly shirt the color of a cartoon mango (yes, I said ruffly)

…and here’s where the evidence of island fever begins to show…

Two “mystery” Matchbox cars (the packaging is opaque black plastic)
Two boxes of Barbie miniature fairies, one of which looks like a less attractive Maleficent
Two whoppingly huge bags of Cadbury mini-eggs
Plaid shoes
Orange-flavored body wash/shampoo/bubble bath
Heart-shaped Everlasting Gobstoppers
A time-wasting card game that I used to play back in the stoner days of high school
A battery-powered sparkly lava lamp night light
Two boxes of dice
A partridge in a pear tree

Okay, so I was kidding about that last one. But you get the picture.

Thankfully, we didn’t make it to the Christmas Tree Shop. I might have come home with several garden gnomes, a dozen stained glass window doohickeys, Spiderman flip-flops, a stuffed jellyfish and a stray child or two.

Blather Daddy Insomnia My Heart Hurts Nostalgia

Letter To Be Launched Into The Ether (#1)

Dear Dad,

It snowed Sunday night, and Monday morning it looked like the island had been coated with sugar. I almost picked up the phone to call you, and tell you how beautiful it was. Of course, I’d have eventually started complaining about the fact that it would all be slush in a matter of hours. Today it rained–miserable, graceless weather, spitting cold from the sky like bullets. It was fitting, I suppose, as I haven’t felt this bad in months. Too much wine and an hours-long crying jag do not make for a pleasant morning after (big surprise).

I’ve started playing Milles Bornes again. I found a set at the Edgartown Thrift Shop for two dollars; it was the old style with the ugly box, but the cards inside were practically brand new. Games make the winter go a little bit smoother–something to do other than watch television. I miss playing Scrabble with you, even though you did accuse me of cheating when I finally beat you a few Christmases back. On some subconscious level, it feels sometimes like you’re just sitting in your little house in West Wareham, building a model truck, talking to the cat, waiting for the weather to break so you can go out and work in your shop; waiting for me to come visit so we can play Scrabble or stay up until two in the morning talking about trips we’re going to take someday.

I don’t know what to do with your house, or your shop, or your truck. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel alright about any decision I make. In order to rent the house I need to fix it up, but if I change anything, it won’t feel like you’re there anymore. I’m afraid to rent the shop with all of your tools in it because I don’t want anyone to damage them up or hurt themselves, but I know if I sell the tools, I’m going against your wishes, and I don’t want to do that. Really, I don’t want to do anything to any of it. I want to crawl up into the sleeper of the truck with a blanket and a pillow and go to sleep until you come back.

I was thinking this afternoon about the ugly yellow chair in the living room of the house we lived in at the boat yard when I was a kid, and how sometimes when I felt lonely or sad I’d bring my blankets out into the living room and sleep in that hideous recliner so that I was close enough to hear you snore, because for some reason it made me feel better. I remember sitting sideways in the chair to watch TV, with my legs thrown over the arms of it, and how every once in a while if I sat in the chair and held onto the antenna of the TV, Fox would come in clearly and I could watch Beverly Hills, 90210. You’d be sitting up in bed reading, and every once in a while you’d mock one of the characters, or throw a jelly bean at me, and tell me how ridiculous I looked sitting there with my hand up in the air, not moving for fear of losing the signal.

I was remembering, too, the day I went to foster care off-island, and the look of hurt in your eyes when you watched me walk up the ramp of the boat. How badly I wanted to run down the ramp and get back in your little truck and go home. But there was no going home, not for a while. All of that time spent in limbo, not knowing where I belonged–and for nothing. Because of worriers and busybodies who thought for some reason that it would be a good idea to take a motherless, confused teenager away from the person who loved her most in the world, and send her to live with strangers. I didn’t belong with strangers, I belonged with you.

My world doesn’t make sense without you in it. Some days I feel like I failed you–like if I’d badgered the doctors a little bit more, or gone to live with you and take care of you, or left work sooner that terrible Friday… but I know it’s just the emptiness making me feel that way. It’s a lot easier to reconcile something like heartbreak or death if you can convince yourself there was a reason, or that someone is to blame. It just doesn’t make any sense to think that the forces that be decided to take you so quickly, and so young, for no reason at all.

I think the hardest part of this is that you’re the person I always used to call when I felt this lonely or sad. Just hearing your voice would make me feel better, and there’s no hug in the world that could heal the way yours could. I remember how I buried my head in your chest when mom died, and sobbed until I was exhausted enough to sleep. I wish I could do that now. I feel like someone has tied an anvil to my ribs and dropped it off of a bridge.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I miss you. And it hurts. I finally feel it, and it fucking hurts.