The reality is that living in Nashville is much like living in the ocean, you have moments of calm beautiful water followed by crashing waves that knock you out of the water only to find the shore even more discomforting and less secure so you jump back in hoping that a current will take you a new pier, a ship will pass or the undercurrent will be so perfect you won't even know you are drowning.
I often feel that way that I am drowning only to come back spitting up water, blood and choking for air. Ah here in the Bible Belt there is no savior only self reliance, the old boot straps and other myths that are there to remind you to stay afloat. I see the lighthouse on the horizon and it is winking at me to remind me that the doors are not open for those like me and I will not be saved so keep swimming.
So I swim on and find that the water is red, deep red, blood red, it is salty, it tastes toxic like the sweet tea that is offered by a passer by, the one on a yacht or is that a pedal tavern? I can no longer tell the difference but they serve the same purpose, to remind those that this is where you come to drink what is on tap, listen to the call of the siren and then leave the way you came in, or in this case just married.
Around me I see Sharks, but their fins are Bibles and they are circling for blood. Is this the blood of Christ or mine? Is there a difference? Money is the blood they seek but I left my wallet ashore and they keep circling.
Poverty is a blessing according to the book of stories they read aloud when I do come ashore and sit to rest. They sing them, the preach them, they speak them. No one talks to anyone but they speak at you, lecture you or they simply ignore you as they walk away their thoughts are clear and written on the backsides of the boats they sail away with. The markers that align the shore tell of the history not as a reminder but as a warning to all those who come now what happened to those who came before.
Come to Nashville the fastest growing city, the biggest city, the "it" city, the city of hopes, dreams, the city of music, jobs and whateverthefuck the current list of top ten they claim leaving the negative ones to toss around like plastic in the ocean waiting to choke the fish. Here in the city the true bosses of tourism sit along the shore like a Lifeguard on his chair watching the swimmers drown as the waves crash in around him.
This week the issue about who can use the toilets was placed once again on the table of the Captain of the Ship but it is still dripping wet so it will get tossed back into the water when the next chance arises, bless it's heart will be dried out and pushed forward again. The next hate crime bill will come along that will make sure that whatever Jesus wore it was not a dress nor hung out with anyone who was not sure of their sex and sexuality. The sharks love the smell of blood and they swim faster to get the fresh meat. Funny that is a prison expression and it is not lost that the largest private prison corporation is located just on that right side of the shore. The right side is the only side in these waters. And anyone who tries to stop the right will be told to get in their own lane as they are crowding the field of hate and hate rises like the foam of the water to the top.
Wages and earnings make a man but in Nashville they will break you. The ever cost of living in rising in these seas thanks to the warming of the economy but the reality is that wages here have not been raised in a decade. The bosses feel that fighting for wages makes you a stronger swimmer. No it just makes you bait. Minimum wage for maximum work is why we have floats to stay in the water when all else around you drown. That horizon seems further away maybe someone will let me on board their boat or raft so I can breathe. I can't the air is no cleaner or safer as the environment is not man's doing but God's and we can only rely upon him to clear that air. Prayer always reliable or so I've been told, repeatedly. The sharks keep swimming.
Perhaps that is why Jesus was a Carpenter as he could build a dock to come out and be our savior as we have fish and bait and they love to bait you here. The concept of science is lost in a city that has less than a third who are schooled and not just fish. Every action is designed to cause a reaction and the schools only exist to remind you that you are not their kind and they do whatever they can to make sure you are the one the bigger predators get to first. Ah the Predators, a wise name for a hockey team here as the ice is the only thing colder than the people. Perhaps that is why the tea tastes so bitter as in Nashville they put the SPIT in Hospitality.
While the schools on land are for learning but what they learn and who from is debatable and they debate endlessly with no resolution on the horizon so they just call in sick, few finish and few care in these institutions of learning. They are more like dumpsters where they throw the trash, the sick, the poor, the faces of color that are not pretty like the best fish in the best aquariums. These are waters that when the tears from heaven fall they overflow and run deep into the city to wash away the sins that line the streets of the sinners who come to put down their money and drink the water regardless that it is poison. I like my shaken not stirred as when you stir it all the vermin rises to the top.
Swimming with the sharks is just that swimming for if you stop moving you are dead. There are many days I feel more like the Walking Dead, a Zombie, whose soul and mind left a long time ago which puts me half way between the Survivors and the Faithful; they have no minds other than those they surrendered to the book of stories and the Prophets who read them. When you are read to as a child it is believed to increase one's intellect and vocabulary, funny how that works out as it must be the type of book that contributes to that perception. But I have no times for stories as the storytellers here are singers who make promises, apologies and resolution but the reality is that are as real as the sirens song which was to guide those at sea away from the rocks. Here they simply await for you to crash into them as that is a Pirate's Booty they wish to plunder.
Money is the key to the heart, the soul and the mind and they obsess over them equally here and pray for forgiveness it is just what they are asking to be forgiven for that is the issue. Sex and sexuality here is predatory like sharks and no one and nothing is off our out of reach. Again it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission and nowhere have I ever been seen more disturbing sexual behavior than any stage on Vegas the city of sin.
The fish tales are endless here to say the expression "lie like a rug" does a disservice to rugs as they provide a warm place to rest one's feet, to add to the decor and lend to comfort. There is no comfort with lies that are told as stories tossed out as food to feed the fish and they race to get whatever they can and will eat until bloated. Cream rises to the top so do dead fish.
Every day every day and every day there is another story about racism, repression, regression and rage. The endless narrative here is "Be Safe" and from whom or what is not specific but the inference of they is clear and is black as the sky that hangs above the water of blood. Denial is not just a river in Egypt as it goes it is here in spades and by that I am not sure I mean as in shovels or cards. Every nuance, gesture and look is thought Racist that card is the one played out daily as it is the only narrative that requires a response. Any other question, reflection or comment is met with derision and false blessings as if you are an ignorant rube not worthy of one. I thought of the phrase the underground and how that meant once those who chose alternatives but wanted to do so out of the spotlight, it was the followers of Warhol who wore velvet and cast themselves as offs but were far from it. Coolness is lived and is and here in these waters there is only humid hot sticky air and it inspires rage and violence that the honor code is more lived and not learned only something done in a laundry - lather, rinse, repeat. That is the spin cycle here in the washing machine from hell and I have never felt closer to what that is like in this place that believes they have the highway to heaven non stop direct flight. Someone forgot to mention that the Boeing 737 Max is built in the South.
There is no place safe on the shores of the Cumberland as Nashville has made sure they remain rocky and rough, the better to cut your feet and bleed. Ah yes Jesus bathed feet but here that spa is closed for business keep walking. Dip your feet in these waters and it is not just shark filled but the Piranha of the Amazon and they feed off your flesh or was that again another religious metaphor. I can't see or hear my thoughts anymore as they are filled with remands, demands and lectures that I am not good enough to swim in these waters and to that I say I agree but how do I get out?