Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Only God Knew"

Once upon a time, before the current administration, only God knew what your government now knows--your shame, your guilt, your weakness, your doubt, your beliefs, your political bent:

how you borrowed money from your sister again to keep from losing your home;

how you omitted your kidney problem from the pre-existing conditions you listed on your insurance application;

how you failed to report thousands in tips on your income tax return;

how you exchange romantic e-mails with a man who isn’t your husband;

how you and a dozen others held a candlelight vigil, trying to prevent the invasion of Iraq;

how you saved more than 70% by faxing your prescription to Canada;

how your auto insurance was canceled when you got a second speeding ticket;

how your family has a history of schizophrenia;

how you tried to form a union at the plant, before they closed down and moved over to Taiwan;

how you think “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a paradigm for our time;

how you took those earrings you always wanted when your aunt was placed in a nursing home;

how you used your credit card to donate to;

how you had a crush on someone of the same sex when you were a high school sophomore;

how your purchases of whiskey and vodka have been on the rise;

how you squandered your house payment on lottery tickets;

how you unhooked the odometer on your pickup;

how you were molested by your uncle when you were eight;

how you thank your Higher Power that your brain still works after all the coke you’ve snorted up your nose;

how the police have responded to three domestic disturbance calls at your house within the past six months;

how your taste in library books runs toward left-wing politics;

how you despise televangelists for worshipping success;

how you have prescriptions for painkillers from four different doctors;

how you downloaded photos of women wearing latex boots and fishnet tops;

how you donated fifty bucks to Ron Paul’s campaign;

how your daughter was caught shoplifting at the mall;

how you had two abortions before you turned 21;

how you lie to your wife to conceal your gambling addiction;

how you printed out instructions on anal sex;

how you keep a folder for “election fraud” on your hard drive;

how you tried to commit suicide by cutting your wrists;

how your herpes infection dates back to your high school years;

how you’re outraged that our government tortures;

how you support the right of gays and lesbians to teach, preach, marry, and be ordinary;

how you maintain a small arsenal of automatic and semi-automatic firearms, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition;

how you’ve upped your contributions to Emily’s List, the ACLU, Amnesty International, and the Environmental Defense Fund;

how you hide a baggie of grass in a shoebox in your closet;

how you check out the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue online when you get bored;

how you have Googlle Alert send you articles on impeachment;

how your orders from NetFlix are heavily weighted toward “R” ratings;

how you harbor a persistent fear that the cancer that killed your sister is lurking in your cells, waiting to claim you as well;

how you have two books overdue, both on global warming;

how you ranted that the Patriot Act spits on the nation’s spirit;

how you spend your paycheck, every transaction on your credit card and in your bank account laid as bare as Judgment Day;

how your psychiatrist keeps tweaking your medication, trying to allay your depression;

how your calls to your AA sponsor show increasing desperation;

how what terrifies you is the War on Terror;

how your doctor is treating you for impotence, insomnia, high blood pressure, and possible paranoia.

© Tony Russell, 2008

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