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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

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Brief Encounters

I left Cincinnati slowly working my way through an unusual thick foggy mist blanketing everything, before the sun came up. I’ll have to stop soon and replenish my rapidly diminishing veggie oil tank – the only one of four that feed directly into my engine.
            The sun does come up and turns the fog into a wet memory, brightly illuminating acres and acres of trees surrounding the freeway as I drive from Kentucky to Indiana to Illinois. I’m distraught to see the leaves turning from summer green to winter brown without going thru the fall colors. I’m hoping these trees are not dying in the stifling heat and lack of rain these hills must be experiencing.
            I’ve just had several very brief encounters thus far on this reactivated national book tour.
            A shiny black pickup truck pulls up next to me on the freeway where I’m going 55mph and he’s obviously going much faster, racing until we’re side by side. I see a slight white man waving frantically as he repeatedly – and loudly – honks his horn. I think I see him nodding with a broad smile and holding out a peace symbol.
            I smile and respond in kind. He abruptly guns the engine and races away, but not before he pulls sharply in front of my truck and I pause, curious, when I see the words those 4 or 5 inch startling white plastic letters stuck on an upward slant across the blackened back window spell: “in god we trust”
            Ok, so this seems like a contraction but I do consider the possibility he may be one of those progressive christians. I snort “in god U trust maybe” but continue smiling and flashing the peace symbol out the window. He zooms on ahead faster and faster but I’m forced to go slower and slower as the freeway climbs up a steep hill.
            In the distance I can see he’s trying to stick a medium-sized u.s.ofa. flag out the driver’s side window, struggling to hang on to it in the 70mph wind.
            Ok. Maybe his enthusiasm was not laced with approval after all.

            When the sun is way high and my solar has had a chance to get charged up, I pull into a rest stop – to rest and to pump veggie oil. I have about 5 gallons – or 50 miles – left in my main tank so I’m glad I stopped. I attach the pump to the battery, shut off the inverter, open the auxiliary tank in the back and begin pumping. A tall white man shyly approaches me as his companion stands behind him, a hand on his back and the other hand waving him toward me. He is staring at the ground just left of my foot while he mumbles that he approves of everything written on my truck before rushing back to his car, barely giving me a moment to thank him. I notice he has Kentucky plates.
            I pause the pump because it will overheat if I let it run too long and go into the bathroom. There an older white womon who looks like she is decades retired from a fancy ‘professional’ job complete with lipstick, hennaed hair, and square black heels asks me what is wrong. I realize I’m frowning and holding my ears to try to block out the bloody noise of not one but two hand dryers going off at once.
            “Noise pollution,” I grumble and to my amazement, she nods in agreement.
            She then tells me how she recently saw a tv program that said these machines are not even as good as paper towels for drying hands.
“They spread germs,” she declares in a high, thin but authoritative voice. “I hate these too. Why do we even have them?”
She might have asked the question rhetorically but I have to add “Because the oil drilling and fracking corporations want to make money off our need to dry our hands.”
Her eyes open a little wider as she nods her head vigorously. “That’s it, of course!” she declares.
“So nice talking with you dear,” she proclaims as she rapidly moves off to join her travel companions.
She seemed so interesting, I wanted to talk with her more but I also had to rush back to finish pumping veg oil – but mostly also to sleep a little. I’m exhausted!


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