Cell phone cameras sometimes do some very strange things to color, especially with art. I took a few pictures of a finished painting, but had to pull them into Photoshop for color correction. The cell phone camera popped the contrast up and lost a lot of detail in the darker areas of the painting.
The light shines from the crack in the door and the light smell of sweat and leather hits my nose and anticipation sizzles like radio static into tension as my breath quickens and mouths gets really dry, hoping against hope that the chaps he promised to show me were not worn the way they were intended, snugly cupping leather to overflowed cats-whiskers on a well-packed basket of well-worn jeans.
My hope and the dream was for chaps worn improperly. The taste of tannins and salt on skin, slightly warm from the tightness of leather – creaking and straining of tight leather as it cups the thighs without the buffer of denim to soften its sensual impact against flesh. The cupping of perfectly round burnished peach cheeks peeking from atop tight black leather. The slight progressing to noticeable to full erect hardness bouncing as weight is shifted provocatively from left foot to right, hips jutting forward.
My eyes take it all in and warmth spreads across the tips of my ears as I cannot hide, and would not hide my pleasure at all that I behold. Approaching the given gift hungrily, I savor the odd sensation of being fully clothed while appreciating the novel definition of “clothed” just a few seductive inches from my touch.
We’ve played many times before, but the thought never occurred to me to invite him into the bedroom. Our play was usually reserved for other less conventional rooms of the house. Today seemed like a good day to break new ground and to offer new access and comfort, so new comfort was offered.
Layers of clothes were stripped away. Sighs, and moans and grunts extracted and teased out with almost steaming breath and the taste of leather against sweat was savored and relished. Favorite spots caressed and revisited with hands and mouth and darting tongues and quickening pulse.
But the chaps stayed on.
Even after the tension spiraled upward and outward into franticly spilled release as timing was held back and extended to attempt to reach the synch – the hoped-for moment where two rhythms lock into one and the energy released just washes over and overflows in ripples and waves and tiny, tiny earthquakes.
Something I want to confess: I didn’t vote in this election.
I watched all of the badges flash by on Facebook. Got all of the text messages from all of the Democratic groups, unions, NAACP, etc. and still, no, I didn’t vote.
I did not feel compelled at all to vote in this election.
Would you like to know why?
I no longer believe that Democracy works in this country.
The country has been gerrymandered so the House will not ever be able to truly represent the electorate. As for the Senate, the Democratic party fled from a President who has busted his ass to fix what he thought were the problems of this country. The DCCC didn’t advise its candidates or fully stand behind them. The second problem is that the President fixed a whole lot of stuff for his enemies and really did very little if anything for the folks who got him elected. There was no student loan reform. There was no immigration reform. All of the reforms to health care were great for the uninsured and the Middle class but didn’t touch two parts of the human body that are connected to the body and need care. Dental Care and Eye care. Why specifically dental care? My youngest brother was put in the hospital by an infection in his heart tissue. The infection started in an abscessed tooth that had he had access to dental care, could have been prevented.
With all the efforts to bring us out of the Great Recession, neither party bothered protect rank and file employees. During the Recession, employers cut staff to the bone, cut back benefits and in some cases stopped matching contributions to 401K plans and created an atmosphere of fear. People work very hard and make a lot of sacrifices when they are afraid of losing their jobs. The problem is, companies have realized that fear as a corporate strategy is very effective indeed. Even though the economy has come back, employers are not hiring. Never bothered to say thank you for any of the sacrifices made to keep the companies afloat during the Recession. Companies are taking a lot of those cheap loans and instead of using them to grow businesses by increasing demand, and finding ways to offer new innovations to their customers, they are using that money to consolidate, buy companies, and lay off the redundancies caused by the acquisition. Companies are continuing to offshore jobs at an increasing rate and without any tax penalty at home. Companies are now finding reasons to offload the older and more expensive work-force and hiring lots of fresh out of school faces with zero experience, as most of the labor-intensive jobs are now being done in countries with lower or no labor standards, so most of what they believe they need here in corporate America in the US are people who are good at writing spam, manipulating data in Excel spreadsheets, and finding yet another reason to book another meeting on the calendar. They call it “collaboration” but what it really looks like is a corporate circle jerk, made spangly with shiny butterflies to chase, and a modulation each quarter made to look like people are innovating and working, but in reality they are mostly just wasting 8 hours a day while shopping online, counting the minutes to corporate-sanctioned “fun” (happy hours), and creating another crisis for the tiny section of the work force that keeps the company afloat.
Maybe the first thing both parties need to take a look at is this number: 34%
34% of the people in this country who were eligible to vote and went to the polls. The rest of us don’t believe our voice makes a difference. The rest of us do not believe that either party has our back. One party’s platform may be closer to my beliefs than the other, but neither of them were willing to fully support and work with our President, or listen to the American people, most of which haven’t seen any effect at all from this so-called recovery and now have to figure out how to pay for health insurance that doesn’t help pay for eyeglasses, cataract checks, contact lenses, or regular dental procedures. Or how to pay for everything else after working your butt off for zero thanks and the possibility of a raise that doesn’t exceed the true cost of living.
So in good conscience, I couldn’t vote for either party.
And I’ve voted in every single election and midterm since I turned 19.
So judge me if you like, but before you do, you need to realize something – I stand (or sit) with the majority of this country who frankly sees that the game is all bullshit. Until I see something that informs me that my time is valued and my voice will actually be heard, this year, I could not be bothered with voting.
The money that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the shit-spewing gaggle of fools spent on their races could have put a huge number of people through college, paid for folks in poverty to have access to necessary chemotherapy, supported programs that could end the Ebola outbreak, and many other things, but instead, somehow in our minds, we see the spending of 2.3 Billion dollars on largely negative television ads as a good use of resources? Really?
Or it could have advertised products that we could have bought, creating demand in the economy and in turn creating jobs. But instead what did it buy?
Lots and lots and LOTS of fucking intolerable noise on our airwaves, in our newsfeed, in our email, and craploads of paper that in most cases didn’t get read and likely wound up in the waste baskets, as they printed it on slick paper and coated papers aren’t recycle-able.
I’ll vote in the next election. 2015. The one that counts. Why? The real power in this country gets elected in those tiny elections that most of us don’t bother with. Your day to day life is a lot more directly effected by City Council races, local elections boards, local government races, local district judges and district attorneys, and voter referendums. I voted in a lot of those races over the years. I actually research the local candidates. I am an informed voter, but this year the information I got told me that nobody needed or really wanted my vote.
What I would also like to see is a REAL NATIONAL LIBERAL party in this country. The Democratic Party, led in most part by DCCC folks (all Corporatist and chasing Corporate donations), has been so busy tacking to what they see as the center that they’ve completely lost track of those of us out on the Left side of the spectrum who thought ObamaCare was bullshit, and what was really needed was to drop the eligible age of Medicare down to one day after birth, who think that corporations who do business in this country, regardless of where they book their sales, should pay taxes without loopholes or deductions or the ability to offshore revenue. You sell shit here. You pay taxes. End of discussion.
If you are using resources that belong to all of us (Air, Water, Oil – yes Oil. Its under the soil of a planet that belongs to all of us, so we own some of that too and should be paid for the rights, like they do in Alaska. Yep. Alaskans get a check. Why don’t the rest of us?), companies should be paying taxes to all of us. You pollute the water, you pay. You pollute the air, you pay. Those resources are limited, so when you use resources and charge your customers for them, we should get something back for that use.
So no, I didn’t vote. No, I didn’t get a cool sticker that indicates that I believe in this Democracy, because if I did, I could not wear it with pride. I don’t begrudge anyone else who has the optimism to believe in the grand experiment. More power to them.
As for me, my faith has lapsed.
I’ve watched too many unarmed Black men get shot. I’ve watched too many people claiming that we need to make it harder to vote because of non-existent voter fraud. Too many cases of women and men getting raped on Campus, Getting Raped in the Military and people unwilling to stop blaming women and men for being victims and begin to take a look at what it is about our culture that sees sex as a commodity and not as a precious gift to be received gratefully only if the gift is given willingly. I’ve watched Gay Marriage get pushed as the agenda when what we really need to be fighting for is the ability to not be fired from your job for being Gay, which in this country can still happen in most of the states across the country. And likely will happen more as Gay Marriage takes hold across the country, and Socially Conservative CEOs decide that they have no interest or inclination in paying spousal benefits to THOSE people. Keep watch over the folks in your life who are single, over 40, and have no kids. Companies will see us as liabilities with a potential hidden expense in a spouse if no protections are put in place to protect us, because they’ll assume we are part of the LGBT community that has not come out. Yet.
The unanswerable questions and demands will start from your bosses shortly and you’ll be made to look old, slow and incompetent.
Maybe I’ll get angry enough again to care as I watch our country slowly circle the drain and the Republicans continue to shake their tiny old rich White fists and try to hoodwink a few more poor old White folks in the belief that stealing from the poor and the middle classes to reward the rich for their lack of morals that allows them to sell their brethren down the river for a nickel. While the Democrats continue to drift further and further toward the Right, running desperately in fear of any of their own accomplishments, chasing corporate dollars and ignoring the needs of the people they claim to represent. And while words like Socialist and Communist are vilified and bandied about with horror, but the ideals behind them might be what’s needed as a counter-balance to the Fascist meanderings of the extreme Right-Wing-Tea-Party-Social Conservative-Bigoted-Useful Tools Dragging Their Semi-Automatic-look-alike-guns around Walmart.
But for now, I’ll just be over here fuming in the corner and trying to avoid the news cycle and the pretty red white and blue stickers.
Well, as the returns come in, it looks like folks votes can be summed up in two words:
Lots of people voted, but those are the folks who always vote. Lots more people didn’t. Lots more people have seen that they can work hard, try to do the right thing, try to get their kids through school, try to get through life without watching their sons and daughters get shot in the street or even in their own classrooms, and really, it doesn’t matter. The game is rigged. White guys with money built the machine with stolen labor, trained us to believe that its the only machine that works, and that we all have an equal shot at prosperity, although they have quietly set fire to most of the ladders that would allow any of us not born into that wealth to have access to it.
A small angry White Male minority with lots and LOTS of cash to spend mobilized a small number of angry poor and Lower-Middle Class White men to go to the polls and completely forget their best interests and vote for the guys who said you don’t need unemployment assistance. Medical insurance companies have the right to screw you into the ground, and you have the right to say, “more please, Sir.” You have the right to be terrified by corporations into neglecting your family and friends to work unreasonable hours in hopes that you might get a tiny raise and maybe take 2-3 days vacation out of the 3 to 6 weeks of it you’ve earned. You have the right to eat un-labeled poison in your food, to drink un-labeled poison in your water. To breathe air that has whatever the fuck they feel like pumping into it in order to make a profit.
What you think you voted for was “To Win.” To belong to the winning team, because someday, you’ll be rich. Mmmm hmmm. Someday you’ll win the lottery, or a big piece of equipment will fall on you at work, or you’ll be hit by a truck and survive it and that payday will come and you’ll be rich.
Or you’ll eventually develop a debilitating disease that will take your house, your money, and your life and leave your family enslaved with the debt. Its a lot more likely this is the path you’re on.
But that doesn’t matter, right. Because you’ve won. Right?
Because now the President who killed Osama bin Laden, saved this country from the second Great Depression, got laws passed that say the insurance companies have to actually give you care in exchange for all the money they take from you, tried to close Guantanamo, but was stopped in his tracks by fear and cowardice on both sides of the aisle, got the unemployment rate down, even though now companies are doing their best to sabotage it in order to keep you in fear and clinging to the job that you despise, and to avoid paying any of those pesky Gays and Lesbians any benefits for marriage (yeah, check amongst your older gay friends in key states and see how many of us recently got laid off…). Yeah, it was more important to not allow that guy any more gains or successes. It was so important that you just picked up a rusty jagged nail and jammed it in your own foot.
I have a few predictions for you.
Mitch McConnell will defund Obamacare.
Mitch McConnell will submit budgets and laws that will be completely unsignable by the President.
Mitch McConnell will not approve a Surgeon General or any other necessary Cabinet position.
Mitch McConnell and John Boehner will file articles of Impeachment against the President.
The Government will go into Shut Down.
We will go into Great Depression 2.0.
It will take the country 20 years to dig out of it.
We may wind up going to War with Russia if we don’t wind up in an un-winnable ground war with Dash/ISIS/ISIL/Whatever the fuck those brainwashed hopeless angry bastards have been led to believe, but they too are part of a “winning team.” Yay team. yay.
Your sons will die on foreign soil.
Ebola will kill people.
The Flu will kill more people.
Diseases long thought defeated will come back due to foolishness from Anti-Vaxxers.
Hillary Clinton will be our next President, but it won’t matter because the local elections and midterms where the things that really matter to most Americans get decided will continue to lose the interest of regular folks, and incredibly stupid Social Conservatives will continue to quietly consolidate their power.
Some major bridges and infrastructure will fail due to underfunded Transportation funds because Congress won’t raise a petroleum or carbon tax to create revenue to fix them. People will die on those bridges or in those tunnels.
They’ll blame Obama, but some of us know its the guys in Congress and specifically those idiots with rusted nails hanging out of their own feet who are and will be responsible for the downfall of this country.
The sun will set on the United States of America and it will rise on India, on Bangladesh, on China, on wherever the company’s journey chasing the brass dragon to the lowest wage workers takes them.
Companies will get richer. The rich will get richer. They will get old. They will die.
The sons of the rich will not die on foreign soil. They will die in plush hotel rooms, choking on their own vomit with needles hanging from their arms.
There may be a Revolution, but it won’t be the kind where White People with big guns win the battle. Why? Because the dumbasses with guns haven’t figured out yet that you need the rest of us to feed you, clothe you, keep your lights on and your cars running, and buy and sell the bullshit pretend food and tainted water you had shipped in from wherever the brass dragon landed in order for you to stay “rich.” You might shoot a few more of us, and then find that we stop showing up to work. We stop driving your trucks. We stop wiping your mom’s ass in the nursery homes.
We might begin to realize that all of the bullshit stops if all of the rest of us watching your temper tantrums just decide to STOP EVERYTHING.
Do I have a solution to this problem?
Am I at the point where I’m thinking if it all burned to the ground and we had to start over, it might be a good thing?
I was there, but my reasonable side is thinking that maybe I need to calm the fuck down and see what the morning brings, and take pride in the fact that the People of Pennsylvania at the very least did not re-elect the man who slow-walked the Sandusky investigation, enabling a child molester to continue damaging at-risk young men who were in a program hoping for a fresh start, and what they got was a wrinkly old White dick shoved into their asses in a secluded Penn State Football shower.
Will things look better in the morning?
But probably not.
But it may be time to find a few wrenches and start taking apart that machine. It might be time to start drafting some plans to build a new machine, or dust off some of the old plans that still work and start some of the old dusty machines back up.
Those machines go by many names but there’s one I prefer: