Cedar Mountain NC
“Here lies politically fermented 1999 candidate for Mayor of Cedar Mountain, Doyle McRooney. Yes, he was certainly a happy fellow, and here he lies on the floor of the local voting establishment, in a pile of has-been voting slips. In the midst of our sadness, we must strive to remember all of the good things about this great friend of the community. Let us not forget his frequent contributions to the cocaine lobby of out quaint little town, his violent antics behind closed men’s room doors, nor his short lived stint as a vicious little Pomeranian, writhing and striking out at all from under the desk in his office. Rest in peace you surly bastard.”
The death of political liberalism here struck no real blow to the citizenry of this small place. Just last night, in fact, I unknowingly attended a “victory dinner,” of sorts, in support of McRooney’s demented campaign that, in his mind, was destined to be the champion of all that was good and true. Subsequently, the night became not a victory party, but rather an experience in all that is absolute defeat.
It all began, innocently enough, my attending some dinner with a friend of a friend of someone who who worked for this mayoral hopeful. OK sure, why not? A few drinks with the town’s elite, outstanding notion indeed.
Several drinks after we arrived, the “mayor” arrived with his younger companion, whose name, I believe, was Gene. Doyle, a tall broad son of a bitch, the supposed future of politics in the Town of Cedar Mountain, was so twisted on cocaine and Tylox that he was completely unable to formulate a congruent thought, much less a sentence. After only a short while, and several unnecessary outbursts, the crazy bastard was quietly cautioned by his equally bent companion to “get hold of himself.”
At that, he jumped up, snatched Gene by his jacket and shook him furiously, screaming, “how about I get hold of you, you whining, shitface,” etc. Then as suddenly as the outburst had begun, it eased, and he sunk back into his chair, sulking. I imagine we had a good three dollars and forty two cents worth of fine, old-fashioned silence before Gene and Doyle quietly excused themselves to the restroom like a couple of debutantes at the prom.
The were discovered, mere moments later, Gene lying bleeding, and this other fellow, this tall distinguished mayoral type, spread eagle on the floor, doing his Kentucky damndest to sniff the remainder of some damp cocaine from the green tiles. What had taken place, according to the non-official reports, was that Gene had a little clear baggie of something he wasn’t too keen on sharing. Doyle, so bent he couldn’t think clearly, felt entitled to half, maybe some weird new tax he had in mind. A violent beating ensued, resulting in mutual ownership of the precious white dust. Sometime during the sharing process, it was shamefully spilled int he floor. So after one more big wallop from Doyle, both man found their way to the floor. Doyle by way of his big bulbous nose, and Gene, who cracked his head on the sink on his way into unconsciousness.
In short, we returned to Doyle’s own bar soon after. The events had shaken us all and it had been universally decided to relocate to safer, more familiar territory. If nothing else, I wanted to just so the police would not be so inclined to break up this little get together before things really got interesting. Better judgment called me home, but curiosity, that bitch, is much sexier than the television set and I decided to remain on that crazy caravan and ride it until the break of a new day.
Sometime later, a million drinks later and just before sunup, a man came rushing into the bar, telling wild tales of Doyle cowering under his big oak desk, barking and whimpering as though he were some small, mistreated dog, on watch for heavy boots, bigger dogs, or maybe a cat to hump. At that, I decided it was time to leave, none too optimistic about the horrible drama which would, no doubt, unfold sometime before breakfast. Besides, I’d seen plenty.
And so, the tragedies that become us all. This began as a simple statement to the political death of a doomed man, but what has it become? An example of modern times, a figure-head for our generation, a very presidential looking Casey Jones, ten feet tall, with a crack pipe and a big smile, piloting this rusty train straight on into the new millennium. Indeed.
The question is not: “Where has humanity gone during the last thirty years?” What it is: “Where have we gone while humanity went there?” Well, I’ll tell you. We have gone to the local bar, to the voting booth, to the exstacy party up the street. We have plodded along to our own default destinies and society has taken the same cruel juxtaposed route, a few steps behind and to the right. At times, it almost seems possible to to jump trains and we try, only to find that humanity is a little too far back, and we fall into oblivion, forever lost in the gray area or crushed under the ghost train of the past. Damn, just missed it.
Maybe they have it right, the extremists, the politicians and the junkies. Maybe it is better to jump from train to train, always traveling through the gray area, content to live in the subterranean, half-wrong, half-right politics of modern day living. No one can live forever on those trains, but some are content to try, though eventually they will be killed by some man with a switchblade wanting seven or eight bucks for a crack rock and a twenty-two ounce beer. Fitting end for a fitting existence, no?
Maybe it will all have a happy ending. I don’t see it anywhere in the near future, not where we are going. Could it be that the past always seems so much better that the future is bound to end up somewhere on the outskirts of hell? That, as depressing as it sounds is the doom suited perfectly to our world, sometime in the grim dawn of a tomorrow.
Note-I wrote this 10 years ago or so, when I was going through a Hunter Thompson stage, but this weeks arrest of Banner Elk town manager John Mejaski made me think about it, and therefore post this small piece of the past.