Less and Less and Less
©2007 Celeste Billhartz
There's something missing in our country. I've been feeling that way for quite some time, but I never talk about it much. Yesterday I sat with an older gentleman in the customer waiting area at our local car repair shop. I asked if he minded my turning up the volume on the TV. He didn't mind. Soon, we were chatting about the annoyingly-loud and too-frequent commercials that interrupted the show.
"Greed," he said. "It's all about money."
We both listed numerous examples of how money influences politics, war, daily life. He fears for his grandkids' debt-saturated lives. We abhor the seeming loss of honesty in government, the horror of our country losing so many young people in Iraq. The horror of Iraq. The answers neither of us has.
A little girl was playing with blocks at the children's table, so we spoke in soft, abbreviated, cryptic ways so as not to frighten her.
Just then, her 30-something father came in to help her finish a game and put the blocks away. He heard us mention Iraq ... and he barely contained his sadness. His cousin just died in the war. He said he has lost all respect for President Bush "He's probably a decent guy, you know, but I no longer trust him or his administration."
I looked at the older gentleman, who, by his appearance and fine features, surely votes Republican ...:) "I voted for him, twice," he said ... and shook his head.
The young fellow helped his daughter with her coat, nodded and smiled, and they left.
Commercial after commercial charred the air. The manager stepped in for a cup of coffee and told us we could change the channel. "Thanks," I said. We just kept staring at the television.
"Do you feel like things are missing?" I asked.
"Yes," he said.
We sat in silence for a long time, both sad, both wishing we had answers .. and proven good deeds from politicians who hadn't sold their souls.
"We need Harry S. Truman," he said.