A SENSE OF LONGING by Brian Roper

Posted: May 16, 2007 in The Roper Files

Like a tiny metal sliver stuck under the surface of the skin on your finger, something’s been bugging me lately. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Hard to name it or describe it. Been having this weird feeling lately. Half light-headed feeling and half head-ache. It comes over me a lot; sometimes I can feel it coming and other times it takes me by surprise. Eese nawt a too-mor.

Tired all the time; I’ve become a sleep junkie. Hardly ever make it through a 90-minute movie on the first viewing anymore; watching TV makes me sleepy. When I watch a DVD I wind up going back to the chapter I remember last and re-watching it the next night. When I fall asleep on the futon, I usually wake up in between 11 and midnight and then adjourn to my bed. Then I lay in bed and can’t sleep; just getting up and moving around has woke me up enough to ruin sleep. And in  full co-operation with Murphy’s Law, just as I fall asleep one of the Chupacabras’ teenagers comes driving his low-rider up the street broadcasting window-rattling 400-watt gangsta rap for the neighborhoods entertainment. It takes him forever to go around the corner, go halfway down the block and pull into a neighbors’ driveway, back out and finally pull up and park. What an asshole! 

Life used to be so much simpler. Used to never have to listen to this shit all night. Boom boom, thud. Boom boom thud. Sounds like roofers at work. I’ve called the cops on these pricks so many times the cops don’t answer the phone when they see my number on the caller ID.It’s just as bad where my parents house is. Fucking tuneless, non-melodic rap bullshit up and down the street day and night. I’m sure it’s not going to get any better when all those little punks go deaf and they have to buy louder systems. Was in a Mexican restaurant the other night. The kid who brought out the chips and salsa was wearing not one but TWO hearing aids and he couldn’t have been over eighteen. Jeez.

(Mental note: invest in hearing-aid stock. Better yet: whoever makes the batteries.)

As I said previously life used to be so much simpler. I remember when I was about seven or eight years old every Sunday night was Kraft spaghetti night. We would eat on folding metal TV trays and watch Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins, followed by Disneys’ Wonderful World Of Color and then THE FBI…in color! (on our black-and-white TV set no less; color tv would come to our house later)

Went over and saw my parents a couple of night ago. We had meatloaf and mashed potatoes. As I was leaving, Mom slips me a few Tupperware containers of food, including a large container of spaghetti and another with some meat sauce. Heated it up while ago; man was that good!

I was a small child and wore glasses. Consequently, I was a magnet for bullies at school. But I do miss certain other aspects of my childhood. The musty smell of Motts 5&10. Watching Icky Twerp on KTVT’s Slam Bang Theater. Ashburns ice cream. Candlelight hamburgers. Chocolate malts at Skillerns Pharmacy soda fountain.

Moms’ spaghetti has started something; a major nostalgia attack.

I’ve blogged on this site before about how few things from my childhood still exist. I was in a nearby bakery the other morning picking up some doughnuts when it dawned on me that the bakery I was standing in had indeed been around since then and didn’t appear to be going anywhere. Revelation! I can’t recall the last time I was so happy to be wrong about something. Bluebonnet Bakery has been around since I was a tiny chid; I remember Mom buying me cookies there when I was seven or eight.

Today scares me; our country has morphed into a sideshow. Everyone covered with tattoos and piercings. People walking around talking to themselves with those hideous things that look like HR Giger-designed earwigs sticking out of their ears. Ugly cars. Ugly clothes.

Can’t help but feel alienated when nobody around me speaks English anymore.Why do I have to pay for cable stations I can’t understand? What the hell happened to America? Why have we become a Turd World, a term Michael Savage loves to use to describe other countries? Why the complacency? Am I the only person who cares?

I have a deep yearning to return to an America I could be proud of instead of an America that seems strange, scary and foreign to me. An America where I can sleep at night. An America where our military protects our borders instead of torturing and killing people on the other side of the world until every surviving member of their families devote their lives to ending mine. An America where Americans can make a living instead of watching jobs being out-sourced hand over fist.

Remember all the promises of the past Worlds Fairs? Picture phones and bullet monorails that take us anywhere super fast…been on Amtrak lately?  The future’s here and it sucks!

Sitting on parking-lot freeways burning 3-4 dollar-a-gallon gas. Mass transit in this country is a joke at best. And nothing appears to be getting any better.

Maybe this is why I feel so strange these days; life is a non-stop headache.

BR

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