Thomas Wictor

A squall

A squall

I had a very strange experience last night: a squall of uncontrollable emotion. It shows that things are always in flux. I guess I’ve buried some aspects of my life instead of accepting and incorporating them. The work must continue.

After I take my nightly meds, I watch YouTube videos for a while, until I’m ready for bed or a DVD movie. Since I hadn’t seen it in years, last night I watched “Tommy the Cat” by Primus.

I learned this bass line note for note on a detuned four string. It was a favorite of the Cardinal Ghost Carmen. As I watched the video, suddenly a massive, crushing blast of despair hit me.

It’s all gone. Every bit of it. Carmen, my ability to play the bass, my parents, my mind, my health, my friends, my writing career—nothing’s left. I’ve never felt so bereft. Stupidly, I then watched the 1964 movie Fail-Safe and fell asleep on the sofa.



For those of you who’ve seen Fail-Safe, it has one of the most ghastly scenes ever filmed. The president orders the US ambassador to Russia to remain in Moscow on the phone. If the American bombers get through the Russian air-defense system and drop their thermonuclear devices, the president will hear an electronic scream as the ambassador’s phone is melted and he’s killed in the explosion. The ambassador agrees to stay at his phone.

The American bomber pulls off a deadly ruse, and then we hear from the ambassador.

“I can hear the sound of explosions from the northeast. The sky is very bright! All lit up—”

And then a braying, grinding wail that resolves into a high-pitched tone. The bomb has been dropped, and the ambassador is dead. It’s absolutely hideous.




After the movie I slept and had the worst nightmare in decades. I was in an office, and Carmen was with me. She was dead, her body split open and her insides spread out all over the floor. I was hysterical. There was nothing I could do for her, but I kept trying to stop passersby in the carpeted hall where I knelt and Carmen lay.

Each person I grabbed by the front of the shirt ignored me.

Call a doctor! Get help!” I’d scream, but the person wouldn’t even look at me.

The dream went on all night. I kept running out of the building, but then I’d find myself back beside Carmen’s corpse as uncaring office workers with folders and briefcases filed past. I knew I hadn’t killed her; in fact it was clear that she’d killed herself. The huge knife was still in her hand. She committed seppuku, what many Americans call harakiri or “hari-kari.”

When I finally woke up, the day was shot. I was supposed to write the timeline for my next novel, but I lack the concentration.

It’s all the changes. I’m losing my doctor of ten years, which is infuriating. He saw both my parents through their deaths, saved me from total liver failure, saved Tim from septic poisoning after another doctor punctured Tim’s bowel, and saved me from having to be institutionalized for post-traumatic stress disorder. My doctor is being forced into retirement because his practice doesn’t measure up to the arbitrary new rules of the Affordable Care Act.

I don’t see the social or economic justice in that. Sorry.

People tell me that I should just deal with it, and that some of us have to make sacrifices for the good of everyone.

Well, beginning in 2015, everyone will be making sacrifices. The majority of the ACA has been delayed until after the November elections. Let’s see how you feel when everybody currently covered by their employer loses their insurance. Several state health exchanges can’t be made to work. Some are closing down. When the employer mandate is implemented in 2015 and almost everyone in the country loses their insurance, millions will have nowhere to go.

You know who’s not going to lose their insurance? Congress. They exempted themselves from the ACA.

That’s what seems socially unjust to me. Members of Congress allow themselves to engage in insider trading, and they’re not required to disclose all their assets. But I’m losing my doctor for the good of…someone.

Pardon me if I don’t get passionate about politics. The theory of politics is valid, but the practice is what makes it so toxic that I simply avoid it. Also, politicians lie like they breathe. Their sycophants also lie for them. You get fed so many lies that it’s hard to figure out what’s real. Here’s a perfect example.

[Pope] Francis wrote in the November 2013 papal statement:

Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.

This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacred workings of the prevailing economic system.

It is impossible, even for ideological right wing economists, to argue with the Pope on this one. Inequality is rising at a horrendous rate around the world; fewer and fewer people are getting more and more of the goodies.

I’m not ideological, right wing, or an economist, but I can argue His Eminence Pope Francis into the ground. For one thing the global extreme poverty rate has been cut in half since 1990. That a FACT, and it was accomplished through economic growth. There’s only one way to grow an economy: capitalism.

More and more people are “getting the goodies.” The pope and so many others tell you that the world economy is a pie that’s divided up into pieces.

Garbage. Hooey. Drivel. The world economy is a pie factory. You can make as many pies as you want, as long as government steps out of the way and lets you get on with it. Economies stagnate due to excessive regulations. In California the homegrown chain In-N-Out Burger will open no more franchises because it takes three years to do so. Instead, In-N-Out is opening franchises in Texas, where it takes three weeks.

When economies stagnate, businesses either don’t hire, or they fire their workers. Unemployment goes up. As unemployment increases, the working class earns less money, and income inequality becomes greater. The obvious solution is to give your country the most attractive business climate you can. That means make it easier for businesses to expand. Through growth, poverty is reduced.

Pope Francis knows this. That’s why despite his call for “humility,” he has his clothes handmade by one of the most expensive tailors in the world.

Clarity helps me get past these torrents of emotion I periodically experience over so much loss and so much dishonesty. My favorite method of calming myself is to do research. Discovering order and TRUTH makes me optimistic again. Today I can listen to “Tommy the Cat.” And this.

Dreaming that all our sorrows gone

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