I tried to write about bartending today. I love writing about bartending. All that boozing and screwing and drug-doing-what's not to love? For me, writing about bartending is like sucking on skinless grapes-completely and utterly painless, until now. I tried to write about bartending today, but it just won't come. And it's all because of this lousy war.
This war follows me to work. It follows me to bed. It follows me to the bar. Like a leper in a sauna, this war has become... unignorable, so much so that I can't even write a column about boozing and screwing and drug-doing without feeling some sort of war guilt or anxiety.
Of course, the solution is easy enough. In order to get this war off my back, all I need to do is write a column about it. That's all it takes. When something frustrates or depresses me, I merely need to write a column and watch the thing magically disappear.
But I cannot write about this war, because I don't actually have a position on it. Or better said, I can't maintain one. My opinion about this war changes so often, I can't pin one down long enough to even finish writing a column about it.
Oh, I've tried. I'd sit down at the typer and compose titles like, “This War is a Sore on Satan's Rectum,” ready to give Mr. Bush the old what-for-then I'd look up at the flickering television and see a caravan of humanitarian aid trucks driving headlong into a sandstorm and think, Hey, maybe we really are the good guys.
So I don't write about the war. But when I don't write, it builds, it wallows, it seethes, it festers, it devours, it churns-so much so that I can't even sit and write me a good old fashioned column about boozing and screwing and drug-doing. So I type out, “A Jackass War Wrought by Jackasses,” and here comes a radio report about chemical weaponry that was found along with plans to attack Americans in Jordan and I go round and round until I'm nauseous-only I can't vomit, because there's nothing there to purge, which makes what you're reading a goddamn dry heave. You are trapped inside a column where nothing is said, nothing is learned and nobody pukes or gets laid.
I hear the fundy Muslims saying “Kill the infidels,” and I think, Yes, we are on the right track. These are enemies self-sworn to destroy us-then Bush says something like, “Pray for God to help us win,” and I think, Is our freaking President insane? Are we really waging holy war in this day and age? Doesn't anyone remember the Inquisitions? It'd be so dang silly if it weren't so dang savage.
MSNBC is showing the torture chamber that was found in the basement of an Iraqi police station, with the hooks and the electrocution cables and the stacks of Jewel poetry, and again I am soothed by the thought that this war is right and good-until some Fox news wanchor (wanker + anchor) starts yapping about how protesters hate America and that charges of treason should be brought upon some, and I am right back to thinking what arrogant, greedy, imperialistic bitches some of my countrymen really are.
I see footage of liberated Arabs celebrating in the streets because the Americans have arrived, followed by footage of Arabs rioting in the streets because the Americans have arrived, and I ask myself, “How is anyone supposed to know anything with this world the way it is,” with its hypocrisies tucked inside fabrications wrapped around agendas encased in deception buried in fear smothered in ego and enveloped by the ever-shifting fog of war?
All I know is this: whether right or wrong, it's still futile. It doesn't matter what side we choose. War is inevitable. War is a greater power than humans. We are slaves to war. Humans don't wage war. War wages us. I know it's true because if it were our choice, well, we wouldn't choose it, now would we? Everybody knows that war sucks. And this war sucks just like all those other wars sucked, through all those other ages, all those other people, dead dead dead, by napalm and carpet bombs, by iron maidens and garroting chairs-and nothing, not a goddamn thing has been learned in all these centuries, and this war is a sandstorm in my gut, and there is only one way I know how to purge it.
So here we are, shacking up with a column that can't come, and I don't care anymore, because I just need to be done with it, and as soon as I finish this last run-on sentence, I'm going outside and enjoy some guilt-free sunshine. Be gone, Devil war! I cast thee out. Consider this my resignation. Consider this my liberation from the oppressive regime of you. You are obsolete.