The Accidental Liberal
The livestock was a combination of pets and market. That's to say that they were all pets and eventually they would all wind up in the freezer. They had names and personality and they had been good listeners to a boy growing up in small town America, and then they were dinner.
We hunted birds at daybreak- doves above the treeline and quail in the brush. We had a dog trained for the fetching of the fallen. Open meadows lay littered like battlefields, filled with hounds and the sounds of the dying.
On Sunday we went to church.
I am a case study in nature vs. nurture and I am too simple to understand the findings.
I registered Republican on my 18th birthday. I watched a wall go down and I dined with Congressmen.
At 16 I lost my virginity, at seventeen my religion.
I wandered from party to party, bed to bed. Libertarian and Independent both graced my description, and then one day, for lack of a better offer, I found myself gazing across memories and into futures, and the card said Democrat.
Maybe it was years in the theater that pushed me, or a lifetime of Lennon. Higher education has taken its share of the blame. I read books that should be burned and talked with people that should be feared. I worked three jobs to take one class and counted out coins to buy beer and Big Macs.
I lost myself in coffee and poetry. I found myself in women and whisky. I lived late and died early, and by the dusk of twilight lessons were learned, taught and forgotten.
It is a blur of clear, precise moments.
Now I am older, wiser, and the dumber for it. I don't eat meat and I don't go to church. I drink too much coffee and not enough bourbon. I have my own boys to place my views upon and a wife that contradicts most of them. I can only hope that we are the push and the pull that they need to consider all and accept little.
There is peace in finding oneself, and there is life in the journey.