Freedom Is

from Live From the Wholly Stollen Empire

Freedom Is



I offered first choice of dueling pistols to an ATM and considered it a fair fight.  I missed and hit the little camera above it's head and the machine cried out with a heavy computer accent "free at last, Free at last thank god I am free at last."



On the corner I found freedom locked inside a 1992 Chevy Malibu.  The safety belt was stuck and she could not exit the vehicle.  She had been trapped there for years and was barely hanging on to life sucking substinance from miles of abandoned dreams.  I ripped the parking ticket off the wind shield, put a quarter in the meter and twisted the knob untill the sign read expired.  Borrowing a jack hammer from a near by construction worker I dug a six foot hole in the sidewalk, released the emergency break an pushed it in.  Sirens were wailing in the distance and freedom climbed from the hole and shook my hand.



I untangeled the thin yellow lines from infanite highways which had ensnared her like choards of Kudzu swallowing power-lines on an Alabama back road.  I bought her a tank of gas and together we took off.  At a Texaco near Point Of Interest, Arkansas  she let me drive.  I stopped to take a leak in the bathroom of another Texaco, glanced in the mirror and noticed I was no longer there.  Freedom had ripped a road sign from the ground that read interstate forty straight ahead and began clubbing me in to a pile of pulverized Vidala onions.  She shoved me in the trunk feeding me gas station hotdogs and dissolution.  It was dark so I can't say for sure but I think we cut cookies in the parking lot for ten years until we ran out of gas.  the only thing I know for sure is that when she finally raised the  trunk we were in the same gas station parking lot and freedom had not changed a bit.



She left me there dizzy, alone and I was forced to fill out a missing persons report.  The cops reluctantly wrote down my description as I said.



That she was beautiful, and ugly, tired and inspired.  full of life.  



she is herself a road side diner - open all night.  



She is a full tank of gas.  

She is a blank yellow legal pad sitting on the driver seat of a $250 pick up truck. sold as is.  



She is coffee black when on the run and with cream and sugar at sunset.  



the cop interrupted me and said no — what does she look like — I said



She is glancing in the mirror and not noticing yourself.  



She is recognizing the wanton glint in a stranger's eye and not pursuing it because you don't have to.  



On a cold day, Freedom is getting your tongue stuck on the frozen metal while giving a blow job to a bronze statue of the city's fathers — just because they need one so.  



Freedom is using the word blow job so that your list of platitudes will not wind up printed on a poster hanging in the bath room room of an insurance salesman living in the suburbs of a minor American city.  



She dances with strangers.  



She is dancing alone



Freedom is dancing with your lover

Dancing with your mother

Dancing with your ex



Is tipping well when you can't afford it.  



Is waxing your moustache into a Salvador Dali and letting small children play with the curly cues.  



is drawing moustaches and underarm hair on advertisements hanging in the subway — then writing a letter to the ad company thanking them for printing the ads that way.  



giving your hat to a total stranger just because she looks good in it.



is free from want



a slave to want



is premature reincarnation



is making eye contact with the blind



the cops looked confused until I spotted her out of the corner of my eye gathering a group of pedestrians for a rousing chorus of "no more chanting."



Freedom is thanking a god you don't believe in



knowing that the world could be no more imperfect than if it were absolutely flawless.



is losing a contest, shaking the hand of the winner, looking them in the eye and saying, No hard feelings.



is having hard feelings.



taking those hard feelings and tying them to a stick so that they can be used  as a hammer to build a cathedral for your for the one that made you feel that way.



obeying stop lights you see on TV



giving credit to the space as one of the letters in the alphabet



Freedom is a delicacy, a goal, laughter, a truth -- it is a weakness, a vice, a virtue.



she is the memories that the smell of bubble gum calls forth.



building a house just so you can know what it's like to live out doors



while she can be found in a dung heap.



she is her self, the knowledge that the dung heap is not the only place she can be found.



smoking cigarettes when you don't smoke and not smoking when you do.



freedom is filling ten pages in a yellow legal pad that was sitting on the drivers side seat of a $250 PICKUP TRUCK.



is winning a contest and spending all of the prize money on the runners up.



buying raffle tickets and writing down the name of the person who sold it to you



Eventually the cops got frustrated and wandered off in the direction of the crowd that had gathered yelling "no more chanting."  the cops joined in  arresting them all for civil obedience.  



Last I heard she is still in county lockup some where north of the Macon county line.  I visited her once though I am not convinced she recognized me.



Though fifteen years had passed — her trial had still not come up and no one had posted bail.  She offered me a dueling pistol and pointed me towards an ATM.

updated 4 years ago