Thursday, April 20, 2000


I have become such an American! After the past seventy-five minutes in traffic, I now see that I am nothing more than a cog in the great American machine--another blip on the gridlock. And as I sit waiting for traffic to move, my air is perfectly conditioned, music is tuned to my liking (that is, when the local radio stations play something tolerable), my mind is out like a light, my body moves according to controlled stimuli: red light, dashed white line, octagon sign. Arrival is something mysterious, and one is never quite sure how one actually traveled to one's destination. Only the point of origin and the point of arrival are known in the great equation of American highways; the shape and flow of the actual distance traversed is unknowable. Much like life within the walls of Fortress America: we are born in America, and (by God) we will die in America. Anything in between is mere history. "Honey, I earned $20 an hour today, so my company could burn another hole in the ozone, so I could develop chronic bronchitis, so I could go on disability, so my company could *early retire me, so I can be taken care of by my company, so I can die in America--Land of the Free. How was your day?"

At times I try to feel something real. I try to disconnect from my head. I try to shut down the machine. I try to unplug. Sometimes I succeed, and in those moments, I am god.

There's a bumper sticker, or a tee shirt, or a poster, or something with this phrase: "You have to go in to find out." It gives me chills.

And on the wall in the halls of the training center of my multi-national corporation is a *feel-good poster entitled "Teamwork" which depicts the Great Wall of China. The picture might as well depict slaves on a cotton plantation.

Last night I participated in a Seder supper for Passover for the first time. So I've been singing Negro spirituals and Bob Marley tunes all day while I took my mid-morning and mid-afternoon walking breaks around the perimeter of my building. In order to exercise. In order to feel something outside of my head. In order to really exist.