[Cuts from Will Ch. 3]
Will pulled out the leather folder containing his will and sat at his desk. He meditated by focusing on the shadows created by the light from his window in the branches of the old oak. Tonight he wrote:
Item #2: Elected officials have to be reminded that they are employed by and work for the people, not the other way around. I believe, with all the advantages they’ve created for themselves, that they’ve lost sight of this fact. The people sure seem to have, as well. A democratic government has to benefit all of us, not just the already wealthy and powerful. I mean, really! How have they gotten away with this shit for so long? Straighten that out.
Here we are—well here you are—living in what is called a democracy and it’s not too bad. People are free to travel, eat fast food, watch bad porn...whatever’s their little heart’s desire. Yes, there are way too many poor people getting poorer and a few people that are really too rich getting richer. A great divide that seems to be growing. You always called me a “fairness freak.” Well, it is unfair. A few people using their knowledge not to help others but to take advantage of them…and grow enormously wealthy through their con. Greedy a-holes…..Like on Wall Street. What’s up with that? The only asshole thrown in prison is that Madoff character because he had the audacity to screw the 1%. None of the other Wall Street a-holes get ant time because they only screwed us—the 99%.
Willy was always looking for some way to initiate a serious discussion with Peewee, who wanted nothing to do with anything that upset his content little apple cart. Willy knew he wouldn’t want to talk about what was wrong with the way the government had tilted to benefit the wealthy, but Willy knew he was partial to a black person having been elected president, so he thought he’d try this tactic: “You ever think about how cool it was that a black guy got elected president?”
Peewee looked over at Will, held his gaze for a second, then smiled. “You’re a sneaky little shit, you know? You’ve gotten sneakier lately. I’m not going to talk about politics or what’s wrong with the government. So don’t try to weasel me into it.”
“But you realize we have a black president?”
Peewee again looked over at Will. “You know I enjoy the fact that a black person was able to become president. He managed to do it without my help. So, change the subject, asshole.”
Will laughed out loud. “Kinda defensive aren’t we? You don’t want to admit that a lot of his problems came from the fact that there are people, even among us, who could not believe there was a black president?”
“You want a ride, you gotta shut up. I’m pulling over if you talk any more of that shit.”
Willy shook his head. ”You know Einstein once said, “’Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character?’”
Peewee looked over at Will with that look that would paralyze most people. “He also said: ‘I never think of the future—it comes soon enough.’” You want a ride, shut the hell up.
Will was impressed that his friend who hadn’t graduated from high school could quote Einstein.
So, as you can see, Will and Peewee demonstrate the dichotomy that exists within and among all of us. Peewee believes, as I did until recently, that it’s easier to be happy ignoring world problems and even domestic issues like government, which can easily be seen as the dirty business of bullshit. What we think or believe is of no consequence, and so frustrating to care about. Will, on the other hand, due to a shortened life-expectancy (as I feel heading into my 70th year) feels an urgency. I, especially now, due to a dozen grandkids, shudder at the effect government leaders can have on the future…and, thus, the need for young people to be invested in what’s going on.