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Murmurings in the Slave Quarters
The Checkered Demon Goes to Town

I go into the town, when I go into the town, always hoping for a satisfied man / woman to sell me that gas or liquor or groceries or motor oil, or so forth. Such folk are thin on the ground I think.

I go to the Vitamin Cottage to get coffee beans because they sell the Russian Oligarch beans I like for $9 a pound. This is far cheaper than the Russian Oligarch pot sold from their grow houses that are beginning to dot the landscape. I just have the two bags and no cart, so I hole-shot the dotards ( isn't it great our "greatest enemy " has revived this noble word?) , with the 1/4" diameter pony tails and the trophy wives ( on their 'phones ) and weasel my way to the line of the Italian woman who was always smiling. This has been my MO for over a year. We knew each other to a degree. I passed her the bills and say, “It's a nice day out there,” or something. She hands me change and says, “It is if your grandchild isn't a junky.”

Tears were just there, ready to flow. I mumbled something inadequate and left. I was derailed.

As I waited for a light, two homeless seeming military age guys, the sort who answer Craigslist ads for demonstrators, were deployed there with signs, screaming we-are-hungry almost in harmony. They showed no signs of chronic hunger. They were showing pudge and weird eyes that sought engagement. We at the light knew what that would lead to, and studiously checked oil pressure and engine temps, insuring the bayonet was within reach.

Over in the turn lane to the right, a vehicle's window came down and a cellphone emerged, a budding Fellini recording a segment for his latest denunciation of the West. The two carrion birds swooped, one snatching the phone, the other obscuring the windshield with his sign while reaching into the driver's space.

The light changed, and everybody but those in the turn lane scattered like quail. I headed off into an area less upscale, ergo safer, and picked up a bottle of competent bourbon. I was only a few blocks from the city limits and made my escape for home, never minding the undone errands. I'd do them on a crappy day when the hungry were sheltering. There's sure to be bad weather on the way.

-Checkered Demon

The Great Train Wreck of the West

Masculine Axis: A Meditation on Manhood and Heroism

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