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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

My Wife Hates Bush

I spot a walmart in Ohio, a big, important swing state. I pull into the parking lot in order to sadly repaint the numbers of u.s. dead on the back of the truck and guess at the number of Iraqi dead. As I hop down out of the truck, I notice a young white male with bulging bags in both bulging arms walking slowing by my truck, carefully and without expression reading the ‘Imprison bush’ side of my truck.
I am always terribly distraught when I repaint these numbers and now, with this company, I try to put a smile on my face. He crosses over to the side of my truck where his new shiny huge black pick-up truck with the dual cab and short high bed sits. He has shorn hair that makes his neck and arms look even more muscular and I think, generally speaking, this is probably a military fellow and I better be aware.
As I change the ‘2’ to ‘7’ I notice he has silently come to stand about 8 feet from me. He is holding out a cell phone as he asks “Dan I take a picture of your truck for my wife?”
I tilt my head, examining him and respond with my most friendly “Sure.”
“My wife HATES bush,” he states.
I breathe.
“Oh, well she certainly has a lot of company nowadays!”
He then adds: “I hate bush too.”
I nod and say I know.
He glares at me a moment and says, “No, you don’t understand. I was in Afghanistan and then in Iraq.”
His steel gaze cuts me deep as he reiterates quietly: “I hate bush.”
I stagger under his horror and can only say how glad I am that he, a total stranger, made it back alive. I grab CodePINK flyers for his wife and he thanks me, that solemn white face softening only when he mentions his wife and how happy she’ll be to get these. He holds out the phone to show me the pictures he’s taken.
I am afraid for him and more for his wife, knowing she’s two and a half times more likely to be murdered than her peers whose husbands have not gone to murder for the u.s.
I turn away and back to finish re-painting the numbers of the dead on the back of my truck when two more white guys approach. I can hear them from far away reading the messages on my truck. One of them, the older one, is enthusiastically explaining how if they lived in California, they’d see this kind of thing all the time! I don’t contradict him!
These guys were as bubbly and animated as the first guy was stoic. They wanted to know where to catch the bus, like I would know. They thought I was from Ohio and they were doubly pleased that I was driving to the dnc.
He talked about Ohio being a swing state – they both told me they’re working really hard on organizing people to get out the vote. They think it is 50/50 now, and leaning towards Kerry but there’s a lot of work to be done. The tall, younger one tells me how many people are coming out to help defeat bush – he is really excited. The older one, caught up in his enthusiasm, agrees. There is great hope for Ohio!!!