From the west it came, blocking the sun’s rays, darkening the sky hours before sunset. The cold met the hot in fury; deafening thunder, blinding lightning. Wind-bent trees were weighed down more under heavy rain that quickly collected to form raging streams and rivulets. The torrent lasted a half hour and was gone. But, the coolness lingered; a welcomed relief from the stifling heat of the last few weeks.
I watched the storm from the barn door with Odin, my ears ringing from the sound of the rain pounding the tin roof. The look in his eye seemed to reflect what I was feeling: Not resigned, not content; not quite suffering, but not far from it either. We were both pensive.
It was a kick in the gut. Someone decided to steal the hubcap covers from one side of my car one morning this week while it was parked at work. I discovered the theft on my way to lunch. I felt, I feel, betrayed. And, horrified. I have so little.
So, what? What is this?
It’s bad. Very bad. It’s so bad right now.
It’s so bad that those in charge can’t help but see it, even if the bad is so very far removed from them. The bad seeps in and threatens the sanctity of wealth and opulence, power and entitlement. It’s time for a distraction, especially now. At risk is unbridled greed. They circle and attack one of their own, the sacrificial lamb, a greedy lamb caught acting on another base nature as low as the incessant greed of them all.
The outcry is ridiculous. The sacrificial lamb, a boar, behaving as many men do, is thrown to the wolves. Weiner’s transgressions affront the moral with blatant hypocrisy. He exposes his sense of pride to everyone, to the world. His wealth, his power, his penis. The three are all the same, really. Men without wealth and power will still brag about their sexual endowment, will still use their penis to control and to hurt and to injure.
He got caught and the wolves circle. Suddenly, wealth and power mean nothing. Wealth and power, they find, are not enough to separate them from all the rest. How can those in power remain in power if they are no better than the rest of us?
They are no better than the rest of us. We’re not supposed to notice. We’re not smart enough to figure it out, even when it’s waved in front of our faces. We are the sheep.
Yes. We obedient, subservient sheep will just steal from each other those few strands of hay that waft down from their bales of wealth. It is, after all, survival of the fittest. They bare their fangs and rip each other's throats while the rest of us trample each other.
It’s happened before, and it’s happening again. Remember the Roman Empire?
Stupid. It’s so stupid. One man’s exposed penis brings down the entire civilization in one fell swoop. Wave that flag, Weiner. You’ve done what tornadoes, floods, droughts and fires couldn’t do. You and your cohorts are no better than the rest of us and now the bets are on the table. Will the sheep notice and start grabbing for the bales instead of settling for the dribbles?
The heat is on. The humidity is climbing. It is damp, heavy, stifling, like a shroud, like wool. Perhaps, this afternoon, there will be another storm to cool things off again. Perhaps the feeling of betrayal will ease as Odin and I wander around together. Perhaps it will ease – as long as I only look at the passenger side of my car, the side with hubcap covers.