Sunday, May 2, 2010

Immigration, Nations and Borders

“You make a mistake once, and she’ll never let you live it down. Especially if there are any kind of continuing repercussions, like in the house that we bought. Sure I forced the issue, because I knew that if I didn’t buy one then, when I would be eligible to retire in another 12 years, I never would. So I find this really good deal on a 30 year old home, built in 1970, that was 10 years ago. Today we’re living in a house that is rotting around us, with additional costs to repair things like corroded plumbing, faulty electrical wiring and termites. I’m at the end of my rope, and I’m going to get fucking drunk,” #44’s passenger whined.

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” #44 said, and added, “that will be$12.90.”

The middle aged man sitting next to him, was dressed in welder’s coveralls, and had a Blazers baseball cap on. He handed #44 a $20.00 bill, and told him to give him $5.00 back. After his passenger got out, he drove South down Commercial, from the Triangle Inn towards the downtown, thinking to himself how he and his wife would be on an Alaska cruise ship, watching glaciers collapse into the sea, in only another 3 weeks. He pulled into the first stall at Greyhound, and opened the Statesman Journal Daily Newspaper, while listening to talk radio. About 5 minutes later, another cab pulled into the second stall. The lights went out and the driver’s door opened as #52 got out and opened #44’s passenger door, to get in.

“Hi,” #52 said, “how are you?”

“Not too bad,” #44, whose first name was Sonny, answered and added, “so far I’ve booked just over $100.00, how about you?”

“I have only booked $70.00 so far, but the night is still young, as you say on Earth,” #52 answered.

“You have a strange way of putting things,” #44 said. “I used to be a repo man in Oakland, and I ran into a lot of strange characters, but the way that you talk is different than them. Where did you grow up?”

“Where did I grow up?” Trevor thought. “How can I tell him that I grew up on Cantaleze the garden planet in Galaxy 1,224,666,774,239’s 446,594,034,609,163rd solar system." So instead he said, "I grew up on a farm in Northern Minnesota.”

“That explains it,” #44 said, “I’ve never met anyone from that area before. Farming you say? What did you farm in that harsh climate?”

“My grandparents started a vegetable farm, to provide food for the miners that worked the iron ore fields,” Trevor lied.

“What do you think about all this immigration stuff that’s going on right now?” Number 44 asked.

“You mean in the state that you call Arizona?” Trevor asked.

“Yeah, that’s the one,” he said.

“Borders and nationalism are the reasons for most of your wars,” #52 said. “The United States took Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California from Mexico after a series of wars, just like the Spaniards took them all from the Indians that lived there, before them. Your entire history is about war, and stealing land. Look at Israel and the Palestinian’s, it’s all about land. Ever since Abraham immigrated from Chaldea to Palestine, as the book that you call the Bible explains, land deals have been going on. The inhabitants of this planet have been parceling out real estate with blood filled pens on deeds made out of gold as far back as your history records.”

“So then what’s supposed to happen?” Number 44 asked. “Do you expect a utopian society to just happen, and dissolve all borders?”

“Eventually, yes, that’s exactly what will happen,” Trevor explained.

“Just how do you expect that to happen?” Number 44 sarcastically asked.

“What do you think happens to the energy that was you, after your body dies?” Number 52 asked, rhetorically, and then explained, “it goes into the overmind, where all your ancestors reside. The next stage in evolution, if the human race on Earth has been considered worthy to achieve it, will allow all living minds on Earth to be connected together, in the same way that your computers are linked. When and if that happens, everything will be known by everyone. There will no longer be any secrets, or hidden thoughts. Privacy will be abolished, as will selfish individuality and all borders. This planet is but a host, for the sub entity that will attend to the primary entity, that you call God. So you see, everyone is the same, and to answer the question – ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Yes! Of course I am, as we all are. When new life is born it is part of the potential and has a function, whether it dies 1 second after consciousness, or after 100 years.”

“Number 52, go get the Hut shuttle,” the dispatcher announced.

“I confirm,” #52 answered.

“Number 44, go get Hard Candy, for Memo,” the dispatcher said.

“I copy,” #44 answered and told Trevor - “We’ll have to get back to this later. Sometimes drunk Mexican’s that you pick up at the bars are going to Portland, or Woodburn. It would be nice if this one was. See you later.” He told #52, as he got out and got in his own cab. When Sonny arrived at Hard Candy, his fare was standing outside under the awning smoking a cigarette. His fare was going to the apartments on Center, next to Firebird lanes. He spoke perfect English and on the way there he asked #44 what his heritage was.

“Where do you want me to start?” Number 44 asked. “My paternal grandfather was Russian and Lithuanian, My paternal grandmother was English and Scotch, my maternal grandfather was Polish and Romanian and my maternal grandmother was Swedish and Finnish.”

“Do you follow any of their traditions?” Memo asked.

“Which ones would I follow?” Sonny answered.

“The ones that your parents and grandparents taught you.” Memo answered.

“Well, we used to eat some Polish food, and I got the recipe for pierogi from my mother before she died.”

“You lost it,” Memo said.”I will never forget where I came from. My parents came here from Mexico when I was 5 years old, and I follow all of our traditions and will teach them to my children, when I have some. I am a school teacher and I tell my students how important it is to never forget your heritage and keep its traditions alive.”

“You may keep those traditions, and maybe even your children will, but by the time that your grandchildren are adults, they won’t give a rats ass about their heritage, because they’ll have intermarried with other traditions, so which one’s will they follow. They’ll combine them all together and come up with something uniquely American, just like rock & roll.”

“No! You are wrong!” Number 44’s fare insisted. “We must hold onto our traditions, because this is what identifies you as a person. You are only one part of the big picture.”

“That may be true,” Sonny answered, realizing that he was about to totally blow any chance of getting a tip, “but fucking destroys traditions and breaks down borders. Do you like to fuck?”

“Of course,” Memo answered, “but you’re just twisting these ideas to prove your point.”

“A couple of years ago,” #44 explained, “I drove a car full of Mexican guys home from a bar, and one of them was telling me that he had 8 kids by 4 different white women. He emphasized that they were all white women, and laughed like he really did something great. When those mixed race kids grow up with no daddy, which tradition are they going to follow?”

Number 44’s fare was seething by this time, as they arrived at his apartment complex. The fare was $13.80, and Memo handed Sonny a $20.00, which he returned $6.00 change from. As Memo exited the cab, Sonny told him goodnight, and called in his clearance.

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