The Martini Effect – Chapter 21 (American Hangover)
(We rejoin our Dharma Drunk heroes somewhere in the city that sleep forgot.)
Our story turns once more.
Just don’t trust us.
Space and time curve quickly again like the bat of a lash and we find ourselves heading to the end of the universe on board the #StatenIsland Ferry, Lady Liberty eyeing us through the rainy morning haze as it trickles down the window.
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong with this country,” Marylou says as she raises one arm to the heavens and the other toward the window that shields us from the mist and salt water spitting and spraying outside.
“What’s the problem, Marylou?” I ask.
“Not enough people want to do right…
…and too many people want to be right…”
Marylou says this as the ferry continues to slice through the water, Lady Liberty slowly drifting away from us.
Marylou occasionally enjoys speaking in fortune cookie.
But I think back to how we started our crawl as a parade of protesters carrying placards marched down 6th Ave, but a lone mercenary stood aside with a sign advertising his bar’s happy hour.
Which way to go? Which distilled truth to follow? Follow the outraged mob? Follow the inebriated course?
Would that mob have lead us here? Does the mob want to do right? Or does the mob just want to be right? I watch the stone lady with the steel flame and wonder what she makes of all this. I think of all the Americas she has seen. Proud America. Joyous America. Divided America. Volatile America. America the enslaved and America the enslaver. Free America. Rich America. Poor America. What America are we right now? What would she see of us right now? What would she make of us right now? America the distracted? Disturbed? Dysfunctional? Disenfranchised? America the beautiful mess? America asleep at the wheel? Galvanized America? What are you looking at, honey? What shape of America are you watching from your little island nestled at the end of the universe?
The morning mist clears and Lady Liberty pulls into sharper focus through the spattered ferry window. We can see her clearly now, better than before. Can she see us better now too? What do you see out there, honey? Are we still a big, beautiful mess? But now a mess with more clarity?
Cue Arlo Guthrie: Good morning, America!! How are you???
We continue to move slowly to the end of the universe, the ferry cutting through the water defiantly. Marking its path through the bay. Triumphant. It has conquered these waters so many times.
On and on and on to St. George Terminal.
Heading to the end of the universe.
Where Brian Eno plays.
(To be continued…)