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It has been too long since I’ve practiced the writing craft. Writing is an occupation I enjoy, but rarely pays well. I am also afflicted with a defect that gets in the way: I’m very good at practical things. This is a surprisingly rare ability in these times when one is proud if they can change a tire, let alone the oil.

I can change a tire. I can change a toilet or replace an entire bathroom with such elegant tile work that upper middle-class housewives are happy to pay substantial funds to have me remodel their million-dollar homes.

I paid for college with remodeling work. I earned a contractor’s license before a degree. The degree would have earned me less, so I dropped out and bought a house. Now I am stuck by my own work ethic. I do not advertise, but I have a reputation, and word of mouth is a powerful force.

“I can get to your project in two to four months,” I tell people as I schedule. I do my best, but I am dealing with a flawed species: affluent humans. I’m incessantly confronted with the casual phrase: “While you’re here can you also do…?”

People call with sudden emergencies, short fixes that need to get done before they can shower, cook, et cetera, again. Every spare day, or potential day off gets subsumed by the needs of others. Rarely do I even have the time to do such rants as this one.

That has now changed. I’ve been blessed with a leg wound. It not only has me reclining with nothing else to do beyond writing my subversive thoughts, but they have also supplied me with enough opioids to foster a serious addiction. I’m not saying it is in the interest of the drug companies that own the medical schools in this country to get everyone who falls into their clutches hooked on drugs, but it sure makes them a massive amount of money.

As I said earlier, I know how to get things done, and done right. Pain is okay, it’s part of life. I take just enough pills to keep it bearable and pass the rest on to Jesus. He’s the janitor and trades the pills to a local deputy addict in exchange for protection against deportation harassment. We all get what we want in the end.

I digress. I wanted to tell you about how I acquired time to write. There is a place just off the highway called the “Greasy Spoon” where people go to get Salmonella, botulism, and diarrhea because they are too hungry and tired to cook for themselves. I was at the counter to eat my fried in lard veggie-burger. I’d worked a ten-hour shift, it was late, and there hadn’t been time for lunch. Desperate hunger calls for desperate places.

I did not get to enjoy that burger; nor would I have even if I’d gotten the chance to eat it, I’m sure. This because two Imperial Stormtroopers sat down at the bar beside me. That was a facetious comment for our times. They weren’t really Stormtroopers, nor were they fascist Italian Brown Shirts or Nazi Black Shirts; they were United States Blue Shirts: police.

The one next to me was black. His partner was a redskin, that is, a white guy who spent too much time wearing a tee shirt in the sun watching Naaascaar or something. (I don’t actually know how many a’s are involved in the sport, so just take out any you don’t need and send them to Florida, I’m sure they would be happy to have more).

I am infinitely curious, and at the time, was too tired to practice good sense. I turned to my new dining companion and asked the obvious racial question. “So, can you shoot random white guys without legal consequences?”

The answer is no. However, his white partner can shoot smartasses. Fortunately, my income level was high enough to only allowed for a leg wound. Even better, I will now have more time to write, since a charge of resisting arrest comes with a forced sabbatical in a reclusive environment.

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