“They gave their lives for their country.”

It was another too-hot too-sticky day in the office.

One of the air-conditioned executives wandered into the sweltering jungle where workers work, to drop a short stack of documents at the empty desk where Louie sat, until he got laid off a month and a half ago. This exec always gave his paperwork to Louie. I don't think he's even aware that Louie is gone.

"Hot out here," he said, before retreating back to his 70° office. I sat there with beads of sweat on my forehead and dripping off my nose, looked at him, and wisely didn't reply.

♦ ♦ ♦

At home after work, I put my paycheck in a drawer, and read some zines, 1½ newspapers, and the new issue of Spy. Yelled at a neighbor who had an open window and a loud radio, but we both laughed about it afterwards. And I didn’t spend a dollar all day, and didn’t do a thing.

Even on the hottest days, it's fairly cool in my rez hotel room, if I leave both the window and door wide open. So tonight the mumbling man walked past my room, glanced in at me, and stopped mumbling for a few seconds (alert the media!). I am a sight, I guess. I'm fat and shirtless and my breasts are bigger than either Audrey or Katherine Hepburn's.

♦ ♦ ♦

Excuse the politics, though I don't even think this is politics. Once in a while it’s so damned obvious what’s right and what’s wrong, you’ve gotta say something.

I don’t know much about Haiti, but I know that a lot of their problems come from American intervention there. I strongly suspect that our all-American CIA was behind the coup that toppled Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and now the US Marines are going to put him back in power? It makes my head spin and eyes roll. A better long-term solution would be ordering the CIA to overthrow the Marines, and vice versa.

Hey, I’m going a week without spending money. Could America go a month without toppling or installing a foreign leader, or invading someplace, or dropping bombs on non-white people? 

When American soldiers die in a war, it be nice if we could at least say, “They gave their lives for their country.” It’s been fifty years since we could say that about any American killed in battle, but we’re always willing to send soldiers to die for Somalia, Kuwait, Panama, Grenada, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Korea, this time Haiti, and next time wherever there’s a ‘strongman’ who doesn’t let American corporations make as much money as they’d like. 

♦ ♦ ♦

“I hear hemorrhoids are varicose veins of the rectum, from pushing hard dry stools out. Have you tried psyllium husks as a preventative measure? High fat / low fiber diets aggravate rectal problems — but I’m biased, since I gave up meat four years ago, and have had smooth bowel movements since (unless I binge on cheese). Sounds like you enjoy cheeseburgers too much to go my route…” —Tim Ereneta

Actually, Tim, I’ve gone vegetarian twice, both times for health, not philosophical reasons, for half a year or so each time. I don't know whether meat causes hemorrhoids, but it’s difficult to be fat without meat, that's for sure — I lost weight both times I went vegetarian. I missed the cheeseburgers and fatty porky Chinese chow, though. 

From Pathetic Life #4
Friday, September 16, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


Pathetic Life 

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  1. Captain HampocketsJuly 16, 2021 at 6:16 AM

    >Even on the hottest days, it's fairly cool in my rez hotel room

    Man, when I was living at the Crown, my room had (seemingly) all the hot water pipes running through the wall, it got toasty. My first week there was a heat wave, too - I seem to recall a couple of 90+ degree days.

  2. Captain HampocketsJuly 16, 2021 at 6:20 AM

    > it’s difficult to be fat without meat, that's for sure

    I know three fat vegetarians. Cheese and chocolate and bread and potatoes, man. My San Fran friends Henry and Christy - you met them at my wedding, and they once sent you an annoyingly large care package before you and I met - were once at a Chinese restaurant. On asking for the vegetarian options, they were told "You too fat to be vegetarians!"

    1. Ha ha, that sounds very SF Chinese restaurant.

      I don't remember "an annoyingly large care package", which probably makes me an asshole.

    2. Captain HampocketsJuly 17, 2021 at 7:19 AM

      You write about it at some point in PL. I don't want to spoil PL for people. But you write about how expensive tuna is. They sent a bunch of tuna and mac and cheese, IIRC.

    3. Ah, I do remember that! Tell 'em I say thanks!

  3. I think I'm generally aware of history and politics and I had never even heard of American intervention in Haiti. I read the wikipedia page and it sounds like the right thing to do, but they always make it sound good. I don't know.

    1. Without Jimmy Carter it would've been just another war.


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