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Making a Friend on the Rails: 12/19/21
© 2022 James LaFond
On my outward journey from Portland to Seattle the following text came through from the medicare provider with whom I briefly had coverage some three years ago. I appear to remain on their text message list:
“MedStar Family Choice is offering a $100 gift card for members 12 and over who become fully vaϲϲinated against COVID-19 between 12/15/21 and 3/31/22. See this flyer for more details…”
This text sends a chill, with that end date, as it is a day before April Fool’s Day and at the cusp of taxpaying day. Arriving in Washington I will find much sickness, almost everybody down with a cold, just as many people had a cold in Portland. The news will proclaim over and over again, supported by public service commercials, that despite the massive vaϲϲinations, there will be more sickness than ever and that the answer is more vaϲϲinations.
Everywhere I see more proof that science is fake, that God is real and that America is Satan’s boot heel.
A voice of asking for telling sounds next to me from the man seated between me and the window. He is fit, athletic, of just above medium stature, at fifty years of age. He began to talk with an apology:
“Sorry for unloading on you. But you seem a peaceful man, a good listener, centered. There’s something humble about you and I just need to unload…”
For three hours Matt told me of his life, of a good father, a better grandfather, riding motorcross professionally, remaining involved with the sport as a ground crew member, traveling across the nation and overseas, building ramps, shoveling dirt, working on bikes… It’s the part-time motocross job that keeps him whole as the main job of painting cars leaves him empty but for his pockets.
Matt has beat alcohol for 15 years now and meth too. He still smokes and cusses, and is admonished by a lady across the aisle from me, and not only apologizes, but offers to buy her a coffee as an act of contrition. She understands, “That bad habits are hard to break,” and they wish each other well.
Matt has recently suffered the loss of his dog and of a relationship with a psychotic woman. I would like to be able to recall more of his story, but I have had a fever for five of the last seven days since landing in Washington.
I do recall warmly, as I walked around the pickup zone at the King Street Station wondering which one of The Captain’s fleet of vehicles would be picking me up, that Matt found me and offered me a smoke. When I kindly declined, he commented, “You’ve got the relaxation thing down. I need to learn that. Thanks for listening.”
In the grocery stores in Plague Land, free vaϲϲinations are offered on the overhead, even as these same vaϲϲinations are declared ineffective in stopping the plague as the mantra “Face masks are required of all employees and vendors regardless of vaϲϲination status,” and the self-negating world of Western Civilization trundles on like a toddler blithely blundering through a children’s cemetery.
What does April hold, I wonder, as I cough up green goo become hopefully yellow in another one of my many bouts of bronchitus?
Barring an accident or a violent fate, I may well end my life like this, wheezing in a sick bed.
I am sick and have some medicine, thankfully. For the stigma of plague hangs over every cold and if I end up in a hospital the archfiends of Modern Medicine may blow my lungs out with their machines so that they can collect government death benefits and so that their pharmaceutical masters might add a death’s head with my name on it to the ghoul’s gallery of sold souls that serve to terrorize the herd into guzzling from the Trough of all Fears.
Shoveling snow by the foot last night I prayed again for the Old Powers to rise and to bring tumbling down this tower of grumbling lies.
Rose City Exit
harm city to chicongo
Pacific Coast League
the gods of boxing
the combat space
night city
fiction anthology one
the greatest lie ever sold
solo boxing
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