The Long Run Up Rayado Mesa -One Writer’s Passage

Installment Two: A Darkness Descends Over My America

The Rayado Mesa series is intended primarily as a weekly-or-so thought compendium, as I train for a late March 2017 half marathon in southern Arizona, and simultaneously continue work on With Your Husband Over Labrador, my novel-in-progress. As mentioned in last week’s inaugural installment, Rayado Mesa, while very real, is also a metaphor for my (hoped-for) progress in getting a particular monkey off my back.

I make no representations about the calibre of the writing here. The same holds true for the companion Medium pieces allegedly being penned by a fella by the name of Hart Walker. Hart is the narrator of Labrador, its lead character and about as much of a hero as we can expect to find in our time. His ruminations, under the rubric Women of the Year: One Man’s Search for Sexual Healing in America, can be found here:

Both Rayado and Women of the Year offer chances to blow off some writerly steam in the evenings — clearly, I have no life — after laboring away on Labrador during daylight hours. While also in theory calling some small attention to Labrador, the main event and focus of my small-L literary efforts from autumn 2016 through the spring of 2017. For all the known reasons I’ll not dip too deeply into the artistic well from whence Labrador springs in order to lay down Rayado and Women of the Year. There is after all a finite, albeit daily renewable, reservoir feeding the literary spring that flows through Labrador, which remains my writerly priority.

Speaking of monkeys on my back…..let’s talk directly about the rude beast slouching towards the White House — the exceedingly dangerous fool I will refer to as MeinTrumpf. Which is actually an insult to Adolf Hitler I suppose. Who at least had the mental acuity and attention span to pen a political book. MeinTrumpf seems unable able to read a book — not even a presidential briefing book — let alone actually write one on his baby own. Willkommen to Amerika’s illiterate Twit in Chief.

Today is the 14th of December, which means we’re but one week from the longest night of the year, and the onset of winter. Given the denouement significance of the Winter Solstice in Labrador’s narrative, my antennae were already on heightened alert. And of course one week ago today we observed the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. (One of these days I’ll relate the story of hosting now-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Defense Minister and Joint Staff Chief in my office in southern Iraq in October 2003. Abe was Japan’s Cabinet Secretary at the time — roughly akin to our White House Chief of Staff. Japan was looking for the appropriate Iraq locale to host its first overseas military deployment since the end of WW II, and eventually settled on my patch, Al Muthanna province way down south, hard by the Kuwaiti border.)

Pearl Harbor. 9/11. MeinTrumpf’s electoral college victory over Hillary. The three greatest disasters to befall America over a 75 year span. The latter wholly self-inflicted. If you’re among the minority of voters who debased your precious franchise by voting for MeinTrumpf……..may allah, god or some other trope forgive you your sins one of these distant years, it will not be forthcoming from me.

Warts, foibles and all, I think Hillary probably would’ve made a decent President, certainly one well within the political mainstream waters I tend to inhabit. My principal worries about HRC were that, driven by her too-extreme penchant for secrecy and privacy (private email server as SecState, anyone?), she may’ve become a Democratic Nixon. That, and her Scoop Jackson-like penchant to reach too quickly for the sword (witness her advocating going into Libya, a dumb and destabilizing mistake unleashed by B. Obomber). And I felt her and Bill’s post-White House multi-million dollar money grubbing spree was more than a little tawdry— just how much dough does a couple with an adult daughter really need anyway? Yes I know: he grew up in a trailer with a single mom. Still. In contrast, Jimmy Carter sets the standard for how to comport oneself post-presidency in my opinion. All that said, I think Hillary would have run her presidency in a way likely to give voice to the middle class and poor — basic Democratic Party values that I strongly support. But we are instead staring directly into the face of a MeinTrumpf winter.

Clearly, autumn has been America’s cruelest season over the past 75 years. (Stock market crash of 1929 if you’d care to push back a bit further….) Not to worry though, autumn, you’ll soon be off the hook: the coming 4-year winter of MeinTrumpf will be colder, deeper, more severe, chaotic — and deadly. Think of 9/11, only with the ill effects playing out over a number of years versus hours. Both domestically, where it will be bad enough, and abroad where it may be even worse.

I’m 62, haven’t published a novel yet. Forthcoming I hope: hard at work on With Your Husband Over Labrador. Hemingway was dead by my age — I had another chance to visit his Key West home back in September with my itinerant, body-painted friend Vicki whom I met on OK Cupid a few years back. And I believe it was Fitzgerald writing in The Crack Up who said something to the effect that in the darkest night of the soul it is always 3 o’clock in the morning. In the long, MeinTrumpf winter to come, it will be just that unrelievedly dark.

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