Letters to the Bouncy Banker...

Letters to the Bouncy Banker...
...from a struggling artiste.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Letter to the Bank #66

Dear BM,

Even as I play my own role in The Great Cover Up, a wonderful play than not only seeks to convince you that everything is fine but almost succeeds—its that good—the veil is lifted. I’m outside on a hot day gardening, sprucing up the yard. I’m actually...edging the driveway, and in the process no doubt pleasing those neighbors of mine who have lawn services and irritating those who don’t and who will now feel obliged to go out and do same:

1. anything placed along an edge to finish it, especially as an ornament, fringe, or border on clothing or along a path in a garden
the act of making an edge, in gardening and/or sowing, or metalwork and crafts

I’m a homeowner and homeowners with gardens and driveways are forced, once in a while, to edge.

So here I am with my sharp, flat edged shovel, acting the part of homeowner/gardener, cleaning up my own backyard, making things look as if they are in order, hoping people will observe the fine garden and not the peeling paint on the side of the house, hoping I can convince myself that everything is right with the world, overly protecting the family, hoping against hope I can turn my face away from the all too obvious fact that society is fraying, breaking down, falling apart at the seams. Then, sowing needle and thread in hand, I look down to see, in the weeds, a dime bag, this one nicely emblazoned with black spades. For me in my little MC Northern New Jersey enclave these things are more easily evaded. Naturally if you live in Anacosta, half a mile from the White House with 28% unemployment, they are more prevalent than weeds. In Bohemian Williamsburg, before the Time of the Trust Fund Kids, they were everywhere as the Dominicans, the Poles, resisted the influx of artists and other alternative bottom-rungers, even as they uneasily co-existed with their neighbors the Hassids. Friends made artworks out of them or talked about doing so. They are signifiers of hurt and pain, of the disenfranchised and the dark side in ourselves that allows that, the part of us that does not want to get angry and just wants to lead a blameless life. If you get angry you have to get involved. If you get involved you might have to make commitments, follow through on promises, volunteer for stuff, and that takes time and money, both of which are in short supply.

So I sit and stare at this dirty little dimebag with the sun shining through it, my soil on it, or the Bank’s—because they own my mortgage —and wonder why a country that had so much would watch it vanish as countries the world over seek to attain what they thought we had. 

I hear the kids upstairs, laughing as they master more card tricks, card tricks that might put them in better stead than a college education.

Yours sincerely,

Kristian Witherkay

A.K.A Art O’Conner

Known to some as RC, ever restless in his own skin

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