It's been a quiet day with the sun shining across a path that my feet imagine following, one step at a time. My trek has now landed me in the country, with its waving trees and a carpet of green interspersed by shiny blue ponds. With time passing on, swiftly clicking through days and then months since I lost my job, home, and family all that's left are the acts of survival: the walking, scavenging, begging, and searching for a company that will still hire a 50 year old American laborer.
Most of my memories are framed around an America of clean well maintained highways, pleasant people, confident strong factory workers, parents who sent their children to schools staffed with teachers who loved their profession, and homes that proudly wore perky bright new paint. There was a promise of a future, something new to be conquered by a people unafraid of challenges beyond their comprehension - everything resided within the realm of the achievable.
That has been gone for many years. Now mostly hungry, defeated, and not alone, I've become a reflection of a nation that no longer wants challenges, quality, or compassion. Sacred now, is the cheap thrill, spit-out product, and especially the expendable low wage labor slave.
No need to reflect upon whether this wage slave is able to produce a quality product similar to the ones that I produced with my supple hands, free mind, and passionate embrace of life; for nobody gives a damn anymore about quality.
Granted cultures do differ from place to place, those who have been indoctrinated into believing they are inferior always seem to ask "how should I do this" not "I've imagined, dreamed, or created something." Those who have replaced me are busily engaged in making more and more sterile cheap products that consumers will need to purchase over and over again - such a waste of resources and time.
Must move over from the edge of this road because it's crumbled away into the gully. Even my two fragile dollar bills are worn by use with dirt and red writing penned across George's face. Hopefully, I'll have some luck getting a couple more on the corner of the next town if I get there before dark.
That reminds me, even towns, cars, and people seem worn and used beyond their years. Everything has sped up to an unsustainable pace, a breakneck speed that only the most gullible young can appreciate. When I was working there'd always 'come down' from some transitory management expert a new process that would 'shake' up my work to the point that everyone accelerated their pace to meet the requirements of the process, which in turn produced and accomplished nothing.
Maybe with the crumbling of a society all remnants of decency, honesty, compassion, relevant productivity, and quality also drop away like the pavement from this neglected road. It then becomes far easier to neglect, forget, and disregard what is important.
On the day I lost my job, my supervisor put on his well-practiced face of casual concern. Telling me and about five-hundred others who'd entered the factory for one last time to clean out their tools from their tool chests (mine paint chipped from 10 years of use) and leave immediately - our jobs had been outsourced to a cheap labor country. This just happened to be the same day my brother lost his job at the office to a foreign worker who promised the world and would work for half what they paid my brother.
Dark is eclipsing light, I must quickly get to the next town to beg or it will mean another night under a bridge without something to eat. Lately, I've been wondering if I'll even see the next day given that the bridges are also crumbling and falling into oblivion.