We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Whitmore, 1969 - Back from Vietnam, seeking salvation in Bob Dylan
Fiction from The Atlantic's fiction edition:
We drove under a tin-white sun. In Des Moines my brother and I had each dropped a tab of acid, and now the Midwest rushed at us—great rows of corn and swaths of open field, a startling horizon of alfalfa haze. We stared out at a diorama of little wooden bridges and clapboard houses, processions of blinking radio towers, neither of us speaking. My brother, Whitmore, drove like a man skipping bail, forcing my father’s Oldsmobile into a high-pitched whinny. He streamed his hand out the window, his knuckles whistling in the wind. Slightly mesmerized, I watched his hand as it fishtailed into an elegant sine curve. We were listening to Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home on the eight-track. This was the summer of 1969. Men were getting ready to land on the moon. The girls I knew wore slacks and smelled of sandalwood and cherry vodka. You could fit the whole world inside an album cover.
My brother had his other hand on the wheel, his index finger raised like a flagpole in exclamation at the music. He seemed to be saying, Here, this is what I’ve been trying to tell you. When “It’s All Right, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” played, I saw a single tear appear in my brother’s right eye. I looked out my window at the neon-green farms and the heat shimmering off the blacktop roads, pretending not to notice. Whitmore was twenty-three—four years older than I was. He had returned to us a few months earlier after a two-year stint in Vietnam. In the Los Angeles airport, as he disembarked from his transpacific flight in uniform, a young woman with braids spat at him. This event had dogged him all summer.
He didn’t talk much about his two years in Southeast Asia, but every now and then—when a young girl with an organdy bow in her hair sang at our church, or when my mother forced him to receive one of her hugs—he wept. One night, as we ate dinner, my parents and I stopped in mid-chew to see Whitmore, his face blotched red, quietly bawling into his pork chops and mashed potatoes. My mother touched the back of his hand, and Whitmore looked up as if someone had slapped him in the face. Trying to make light of the situation, my father said, “I didn’t think much of the pork chops either.” My mother visibly winced, but Whitmore started to laugh. He said, “This will stop, Dad. You’ll see.”
Read the whole thing in The Atlantic before the privilege is taken away.
"When they planted the American flag—a swath of fabric surrounded by gray-white dunes and a rushing darkness—I heard my brother say in a tone of perfect melancholy, “Now they’ve gone and put that up there.” "