Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mount Saint Helens

30 years ago yesterday, I was going out to the Air Force Base for the annual Open House.

It was held in conjunction with the Lilac Parade in Spokane.
I was in a little Subaru, that my Dad had bought to get a leg up on those runaway gas prices.
The consensus was that if gas got up to $2.00, there would be an open insurrection.
I miss those people. I wonder where they went.

The accompanying ashfall got into all our electronics. It was a year before I'd take out my favorite vinyl. If a volcanic eruption happened today, with our computers, our cell phones, CFLs, our consumer electronics......

In my current state of grief, I find the horror of this goes right off the scale.

I look back and weep for that sweet, intelligent, and totally clueless 18 year old that I was.

I want to go back in time. I'd find myself and say, "Fuck College John! Go work at a cabinetry, electrical, or auto shop." Yeah! Computers were the next big thing, they were pretty much one way or another, the next big thing over the course of the next three decades. But God help the poor schlub that expected to make money. I'm sure I have some of the same attributes as the founders of amazon, yahoo, or google. I just didn't have the ruthlessness to drive that dream toward reality.

All I wanted out of life was a good job where I could support a wife, and two or three kids.
Imagine my horror when I entered a generation where a Double Income No Kids household couldn't afford a house. Where to keep a job, you are expected to work two hours before, and four hours after your shift for a startup company. Fourteen Hours for an eight hour check. Grudgingly paid.

I play around with computers, blogging, and politics. To hide from the grim reality that I really don't have an existence. I was actually four weeks from starting happily ever after. With the wife and son that I had waited 35 years for.

It was cruelly stolen from me in an accident. People who don't know what they're talking about are acting like she committed suicide. It was just a careless accident like Dorothy Kilgallen.

I am expected to just keep on, in light of the fact that the state has stolen my son. Ten days since I've seen him last. They graciously will allow me two hours a week to reestablish a bond that I have spent the last ten months forging on a hour by hour basis.

I have seen what comes out of the foster care system. For every Gerald Ford, there's ten thousand people who abuse drugs, and each other. My child is in the hands of soulless, uncaring, bureaucrats, and I can't protect him.

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