• mariokiefer

Tomorrow is Yesterday


I wrote this in 1986. It strikes me that things have not changed all that much in thirty-five years. Is there any reason to believe they will in another thirty-five?




______________

Another Day,

I awaken and begin the monotony of routine that is my life.

I drink my coffee -- beans handpicked by Juan Valdez.

The caffeine is killing me, you know.


I turn on the television to watch the morning news:

- Somewhere, another war rages on;

- Allegations of the use of chemical weapons;

- The UN proposes a cease fire;

- Thousands of refugees flock toward presumed sanctuary;

- They are turned away - immigration laws are under review.


Our mortal enemies are building more dangerous weapons,

We bludgeon our defense spending - let the axe fall where it may,

And, the Pentagon paid $231 for a screwdriver I purchased for $1.99.


The homeless despair -- where shall we sleep? -- and kidnap a gosling for ransom.

The elderly cry out -- how shall we eat? -- social security is no longer secure.


Somewhere, famine rages on:

- More LiveAid! for food stored in warehouses and used as weapons in civil war;

- Starvations rears its ugly head;

- Thousands of Americans join weight loss clinics;

- Cows and pigs run free sacred in the name of religion.


Another televangelist promotes the word of the Lord, but the only one listening is his mink-clad puppy dog.

AIDS is the wrath of God on the sinful homosexual community - people die for naming a love that dare not speak its name.

God is merciful and forgiving.

Muslim terrorists take more hostages. Compassionate Allah promotes the jihad to end the ascendancy of Satan America. People die. Their souls tainted - guilty of the sin of American citizenship.

Satanic orgies of prosperity continue.


Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Equal opportunity under the law - so the Constitution guarantees - as it is violated by the very officials elected to uphold it.

Bureaucracy does it as it pleases - you can’t fight city hall.

And my tax dollars are spent on such worthy causes and exploring the sexual habits of the turtle dove. How has mankind survived these millenia without such knowledge?

The Statue of Liberty is crumbling. Is this a commentary on our society?


I call a cab.

The driver is, as always rude. It’s not even seven a.m. and he honks his horn.

He too is filled with the news of the day:

- the impending city layoffs;

- the union’s strike for higher wages;

- the pollution that is slowly eroding the ozone layer.

Who am I to judge? I grunt in dismay.


Work begins.

Rude clients fill an office of insensitive persons intent upon self gratification. Woe is he who cares too much.


Lunch.

Traffic is hell. There must be a better method of transportation.

The food is bad, the service is poor.

Does anyone care about his job anymore?


I return to the office to continue the banalities of everyday existence.

No raises this year. We must wait for better financial times and exercise fiscal responsibility.

I dream of a postal uniform.


5 PM at last

Off to the market to do some shopping; to fight little old ladies intent on using their triple manufacturer’s coupons before the expiration date.

Screaming children running through the aisles, their pregnant mothers unable to control them.


Home at last, I retrieve the mail.

Bills! Always bills! What would happen if I didn’t pay? No, I cannot wait for better financial times - I must exercise fiscal responsibility.

Who needs heat this winter?


I feel exhausted. I turn on the television - mindless, meaningless fiction designed to take my mind off of everyday life.

It doesn’t work.


Night falls. Depressed, I go for a walk.

The soft wind rustles through the nearby trees sounding so much like angels singing in heavenly grace.

The stars shine brilliantly overhead and lighting the path.

Somewhere, a dog calls out into the stillness of the night.


A feeling of calm overtakes me.

How beautiful is creation!

How wonderful is life!

The wonders of God and Nature can never be surpassed by any machination of man.

Words - mere words - are so inadequate to express that beauty.

Life, living, it is more than the expression of existence and there is a method to all this madnesss!


Somehow, I find the strength to face . . .


Another Day,

I awaken and begin the monotony of routine that is my life.

I drink my coffee, beans handpicked by Juan Valdez.

The caffeine is killing me, you know.

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