Pedro Ávila

The skies are a bright gray that neither lightens the spirit enough for me to join my breathren in celebration of another silly time of year nor darkens the page enough to make me want to quit it. Still, the thought occurs to me to make it one of those days where company is limited to Coltrane, Cash and Faulkner. Where you draw the blinds, warm the whiskey, unplug the phone and tell the general public to go fuck itself.


Christ. It must be November again.

The November air is damp and reeks of nothingness and space. Sounds are dull and things wither. I trod along on vacant roads with damp, rotting leaves at my feet. I know that all things pass, and that this too, inevitably will…

That doesn’t make it suck any less.

I guess the only thing to do is to keep on going; put my head down and at least trod on, if I can’t charge. Continue moving forward as the vacant streets and their damp multi-colored leaves move backwards under my feet, hoping that November passes in fewer than its 30 miserable days and that once it does, there will be enough left in me to do what ever it is that I know I have to do.

But enough on that, before I stray dangerously close to something that may terrify me.

I’ve written before about the glorious feel of autumn and the cold strength of winter but November doesn’t quite live up to either. It’s a sickly month with the fading life of greater times. Yet the social responsibilities of the coming holidays, to say nothing of the coming year that looms like the annual equivalent of a Sunday, full of sickly uncertainty and wavering with the meekness of temporal doubt.

But the holidays… ehhh – the holidays. Here come the days in which almost everyone is culturally obligated to participate for they are the holy days, I suppose. The etimology of the word is curious, if not self-evident. Still, tomorrow we (yes reader, even I) will partake in the silly celebration of an event that is largely symbolic and may never actually have taken place.

But you know, I am not above putting down the loathing for a second to enjoy some good meat when the occasion calls for it and the meat is properly basted. In every sense of the word.

But indeed, what comes after that? Will there be 24-hour sermons across the country in places holy that do all they can to describe actual misery to those who know it not in order to make people feel slightly less guilty about all the THINGS they have? Sure.

Will there be collections taken where these same animals can buy off their guilt with one payment of some greenbacks? We’ll take what we can get.

Will there be a scurry to reallign society’s values with what’s good and just and have the FEELING, not of charity, but of goodwill toward your fellow human being on EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR?

yeah fucking right.

The day after tomorrow will be a sprint to the nearest Best Buy for that 2 gB memory card your nephew was talking about or to Target for deals on DVDs for the secret santa they do every year that you were tired of playing 6 years ago or else to Barnes and Noble for that book that little Timmy was…

…no wait — Timmy can’t read. Yeah, that was a stretch. Still, the day after tomorrow will be a circus of credit cards and fake plastic trees; a zoo of wish lists filled with things that were never wished for but were on sale; a madhouse of traffic, no parking, pollution, plastic wrapping, little to no thoughts for others and general mayhem. In between sprints will be Starbuck’s coffee and California Pizza Kitchen and everyone will forget about the shit happening on the news until they come back around to tuning in to the Daily Show sometime next Monday at 11 pm, only to find the country a  bit more charred, the pile of shit slightly higher; the mound of mistakes slightly darker than last year; the mud just a tad more runny; the hole, a little bit deeper.

How did it come to this?

Pedro Ávila Pedro Ávila

For a reasonably sane & productive member of society (arguable, but let’s not complicate things), I’m far too mobile and unrooted. I travel quite a bit for a job that is simultaneously my greatest privilege and my worst burden.

So I write. And I write. Travel pieces, political journalism (a stretch from ranting but, still), short stories, poetry and other such riff-raff. I contribute to a handful of publications and will probably just keep going until something gives out, or someone gives in.


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