I listened to the segment this morning about the American Dream and how some people beat the steepest odds. I realized that I believe in the American Dream but I also know that despite their hardest work and best effort, some people just don’t make it. It’s not a character flaw, it’s just a game of odds. And some people get dealt a crappy hand. As the segment rolled into an interview with the Merrill Garbus, the lead singer for the tUnE-yArDs talked about some people just don’t get a chance at The American Dream. They played the lead track off their new album and I was grabbed.

It is a rare thing for a song to clench you tight and then make you want to flail about or jump up and down. I went to my computer to replay the segment so I could hear the song. I was captivated. I watched several of the bands other videos, mesmerized by the audacity and gumption of the children in the videos. It was a box of firecrackers just waiting for a box of matches. I was transported, immediately, to my own childhood of running barefoot, stealing kitchen matches and hiding them in a glass One-A-Day vitamin jar. I was setting piles of pine needles (and the occasional roly poly) on fire with a magnifying glass. I used the matches and magnifying glass to set the bark of the paper trees ablaze. Since melaluca trees are in invasive exotic, I feel I did my part in eradicating the interlopers.  We bashed mailboxes, a Federal offense that will forever ban me from running for public office and I’d like to claim keen foresight into that construction because it’s not like my big fat mouth certainly isn’t enough to keep me out of politics. We jumps from bridges into canals dug by the Army Corps of Engineers as traffic whizzed behind us. We absconded with Bob’s barricades; my oldest sister had one of the live, flashing sawhorses in her bedroom for months. We were loose, wild, free, unobserved and untethered. I am a member of the quarter-in-the-shoe generation. We climbed trees and had “itch berry” wars, pelting each other with the kernels from a palm tree that had a fine, fiberglass-like “fur” that would itch like fire for hours afterwards, unretarded by bath, soap, Calamine or Solarcaine. I had a fierce childhood. Watching this video made me remember.


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