Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Sunday, November 13, 2016

And So it Goes (November 13, 2016)

The editors are pleased to welcome back our favorite female Geezer, Sehr Wenig. 

As a Minnesota Geezer lost in LaLa Land, I go to the beach nearly every weekend.

When I went to the beach a few weeks ago, a taco truck was parked on the PCH, its owner clearly living there. This morning two more food trucks had joined the sad parade. As it happens, these particular trucks come to the one-way street outside our office every day, feeding streams of computer engineers and movie marketers and media types. Imagine catering to privilege every day and then sleeping on the cold metal floor of a make-shift kitchen every night so you can get up and do it again.

As usual, a homeless black man slept in a blue sleeping bag, huddled against the seawall. Last week his drug paraphernalia was nestled in a toddler’s hiking boot, just within reach. This week the little hiking boot was nowhere to be seen.

Down on the beach, a 30-ish Mexican man and his 8- or 9-year-old son threw stones into the water, laughing at good throws and groaning at bad ones.

A 40-ish woman sat on a rock, playing a guitar. The man wrapped around her from behind corrected her fingering now and then as she learned a new song. 

The woman's long, mousy brown hair was tucked into a newsboy cap. The edges of a rip in the sleeve of her whiskey-colored leather jacket fluttered in the breeze as she strummed, and she tapped the worn-through toes of Stuart Weitzman boots that probably cost a thousand dollars, long ago and far away.

Eventually, the man took the guitar and began to play softly. "F*ck you," she cried. "You're so much better than I am. It's not fair!"

"No, baby. Not better. Just been playing longer," he crooned.

"You make me so f*ck'n mad with the way you play."

Now dancing to the man’s tune, the bone-thin woman smiled broadly. The pockmarks on her face glowed in the sun -- a rosy contrast to the blackened edges of every tooth.

"You can see my human-icity on my face," she said. "You like that word? Human-icity." 

"Humanity," the man murmured. 

"I like my word better," she replied.

I couldn't hear his response, but it made her wild.

"I asked you never to mention her. Never speak her name in my presence," she shouted. "I beat her up, you know. Beat her ass in the CVS parking lot. Knocked her off her bike and kicked the shit out of her."

"How dare she tell people I set her husband on fire. I've never set anyone on fire in my life. Except myself."

The tide rolled in, accompanied by the giant sucking sound of water rushing in and out at the same time. 

I’ve been distraught since the election, filled with fear and rage toward racism and misogyny and Islamophobia. I’m still outraged but have to admit things looked ever-so-slightly different from this vantage point.

If this woman were my daughter or my sister or my mother and IF I believed Trump's wall would “seal our borders” to keep drugs out of our country, it’s possible I might have voted for him. It’s even remotely possible I would have chanted, "Build that wall," along with the crowd -- not as a way of throwing stones at people like the young father and his son, but out of desperation and misguided belief this "strong man" could save a woman I loved. 

But I do not believe Trump is strong, and I do not believe he will save anyone. Or that he even cares to try. 

Before leaving the beach, I filled a trash bag with bottle caps and empty beer bottles and chip sacks. On the way back up the sand ramp, I noticed someone had placed a bag of groceries on top of the rock that shelters the homeless man.

And so it goes.


  1. cleaning the beach is a good thing. Were we to have access to the 1% households, on a friday night, after a few bottles of 71 Bordeaux, what might we hear?
    We have a divide that is going to destroy us. It might not be quick, or obvious at first. But's it's already started.
    You and I, some of the other bloggers that attend this might not be affected right away; we've attended our wealth, we have homes and made arrangements for our children.
    But it's going to get us. The abolishment of the estate tax. How much will that increase the national debt? With the cabinet and advisors that Trump will have, what will our government look like?
    The people who voted for Trump should pay some attention here; it ain't gonna work out like you thought. He ain't your boy. He's his boy, and cares not a shit about you.

    Do enjoy

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  2. Completely agree, Mike. Trump is always and only for Trump, and the rest of the world be damned. As it happens, today I got the chance to hear from the 1% at the beach, and the results were exactly what you'd imagine.

    Things will certainly be worse than his supporters imagined and possibly even worse than we imagine, although that would be really saying something given my level of concern.

  3. There may be a national way to overcome our problem, but in the meantime we must clean up the beach where we live. Work for community, work for children.

  4. The insidious grasp of the financial elite squeezes us ever tighter. Now they control BOTH parties. Mike sees it and calls it better than most.

  5. We all need to do what we can to make our little corners of the world a little better.

  6. Thanks for your post and your sensitivity. Thanks too for taking responsibility and cleaning the beach.
    This new age of trump will demand of us, individual acts of support for those people and organizations we hold dear. And it may well demand of us a Resistance.

  7. I could not agree more, Tom. What a great way to describe it: "organizations we hold dear." We can't change the outcome of this election, but we can volunteer to serve the vulnerable, donate what we can afford, stand with one another. As Anne Lamott puts it, we can get drinks of water for thirsty people.

  8. You get quite a slice of life around there. Glad you keep your liberality through it all.

  9. The election was one thing, now it's just damn scary!

    Great post!
    "there's a million stories in the naked city."

  10. Thanks too for taking responsibility and cleaning the beach.


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