The essay I write gets saved to a hard drive. The flooded marketplace of opinions drowns my writing before it ever gets to the mail box. The Wal-Mart I work for stocks Spiderman movies and doesn't have shelf space for my thoughts. The congress I elected can't bother itself with drivel from a small-fry with a lap-top and a need to blabber. Not that it should. This is, after all, still America where if you can't sell it, it doesn't exist.
I slouch away from the desk. I walk down to the river. It's muddy and sluggish as usual but I listen for her calming murmur and inspiring counsel. She says, "I hate to say I told you so, but I told you to ignore all media! Didn't I? How do you expect me to help you if you refuse to follow my advice? "
I'm so lucky. Less than a hundred yards from my back door I can meet with my own private self-help guru and she doesn't charge me anything.
With her loving guidance ringing in my ear, I trudge back to the house. Once inside, I feed the cats, mop the kitchen floor, and dribble some water over the desert rose on my side table. I don't smash the TV or torch the newspaper. This is, after all, America, where if you wait long enough, even your self-help guru will sell you something you want to hear.
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson