Rabu, 09 November 2011


My cousin and I had a long telephone call last evening. I was south of Charleroi. It was the ugliest town in europe. Oil Can was north of Boston. We were an ocean apart. I asked about his father, the judge. The ex-marine has been repatriated from the hospital. My uncle was back at home. "That's good news." Jack was my godfather. The Korea War veteran liked to say that no baby cried more a Christening. The wailing was a premonition of my apostasy. "Send him my love."We discussed our immediate families. His son was applying for high school and mine were safe from the floods. "On a more serious note, how's business.""Business sucks." His investment firm specialized in financing start-up companies. "Everyone is searching for the next big thing and it isn't going to be 3-D TV."The world economy is only going to improve if the banks, governments, and people abandon the ways of the past. Trade in their cars for trolleys and trains. Stop eating shitty food and begin to pay cash for everything rather than live in a perpetual debt." I had been chanting this mantra for years without denting the status quo. "The old industries are dead and no country can exist without a manufacturing base. America and the West have to re-industrialize their economies."China controlled the world with its one-stop shopping for everything. "I make a half-million a year and I'm broke." My cousin liked the fine things in life. He should be able to afford them. "And if you're broke, what do you think the rest of the world is like." "Fucked.""There's no other word for it." The head of the IMF announced that the world economy was in danger of entering another lost decade unless bold steps were taken to bolster the faltering economies of Greece, Italy, and Spain. They were no alone either. "And I don't see the calvary coming to the rescue."'Grim.""Very grim." I was in agreement, but then said, "At least I'm drinking good Belgian beer. And it's cheap."3 Euros for a 33CL glass of Rochefort."A bright light on the horizon.""We have to take them as they come.""Better some than none. Drink a beer for me.""You got it." Oil Can was my favorite cousin.I hung up and went down to the local bar in Montigny outside of Charleroi. I ordered a beer. I drank it in less than two minutes. The second one went a little slower and the third lasted almost thirty minutes.After the fifth I was fucked, but fucked in a good way and i walked back to Vonelli's house with a slur in my steps. The moon was clearing through the clouds. Fucked or not tomorrow was going to be another day.

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