Friday, April 20

Dear Jim,

I’m sitting outside at the coffee shop I always wrote to you from last year. Now with nice days like today, I will be coming here more.

I wonder if you would have gone to coffee shops to study theology and read poetry? I wonder if we would have met at any to philosophize?

If we did, I don’t know what you would order. You would probably get bottled water or juice. You would sit on the sunny side of the table with your visor and lotion on your nose. I would sit on the shady side wearing my ski cap and having a hot chocolate.

Neither of us wore sunglasses when we were young, but you would probably be wearing them now like I do. When I picture you in sunglasses, it doesn’t seem right. They would cover your longing eyes.

We both criticized people in sunglasses because we thought they were trying to be cool. Now I look like the people I never liked.

Coffee shops are one of the changes of the last forty years that I approve of. I definitely take advantage of them.

Usually when I come here I read the paper, then comment to you about an article. Today there was a real short one. 500 Central American immigrants are fleeing their country to come here. They are taking a freight train from Guadalajara to the United States. It didn’t say where they would end up.

It’s incredible how many people try to escape from Central America or leave Mexico to come here. They hop freight trains, but there are no open box cars or empty flat cars like when you used to ride or I used to ride.

People sit on running boards. They get knocked off by branches. They fall when they lose their balance or miss a rung.

When they leave the train they get beaten and robbed by gangs. Girls get raped. The police beat them too, then send them back to Central America.

I’m listening to an audio book in Spanish about a Honduran boy who left home to come to America to find his mother. He rode the freight train but got caught and sent back to Honduras six times. On the seventh try he made it to the U. S.

I’ve always loved the romance of America’s freight trains. I loved the freedom they gave me. But there is nothing romantic about ten or more people sitting on a running board in the sun, wind, and rain becoming ill and not having anywhere to pee or poop.

The people who survive and make it to the U. S. probably have great memories of beautiful scenery and peaceful starry nights like I do, but they were looking to become politically and economically free, while I wanted to see the country and avoid working at a soul killing job.

It’s terrifying that kids leave Central America to escape gangs, then get beaten in Mexico by Mexican gangs and Mexican police, then worry about getting arrested when they cross the border into America. I wonder what it feels like to be scared shitless all the time, then end up in this soulless country of ours? ”I went through all that for this?”

I miss you Jim. I wish you were here to take a trip with. We could go to Hungary, Prague, Poland, Russia looking for something real, looking for our roots.

I don’t know what we would find. Maybe somewhere in Russia there is still the great Russian soul.

That’s it for now.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Saturday, February 10

Dear Jim,

My taxes are all done. I mailed them yesterday. I still do not do them online. I don’t trust android, and my PC is rebuilt. It was changed from Windows 7 to XP Pro then back to Windows 7, so I don’t know what might be in the computer looking for social security numbers to steal.

When my tablet finally wears out or my PC crashes, I will get a new PC to send my taxes electronically. It’s easier to type, then see what I entered on the screen, than to strain my eyes on a paper copy trying to read handwritten numbers. I’ve even thought of getting an accountant or hiring a tax preparing company so I don’t have to read the directions and strain my eyes.

Sis I has glaucoma. Dad got it a few years ago, but look how old he is. Our great uncle got it in his seventies. My eyes are beginning to get dry. I will go to the eye doctor in March or April. I will ask if I should be tested for glaucoma twice a year.

Oh our health! I really feel old. More people call me sir everyday. I wish I had dad’s body.

Last Sunday was the Super Bowl. I didn’t listen to it. I didn’t know the Eagles won until Wednesday. Sis II told me while she was driving home from dad’s. She said the announcers said that it was one of the best. But even so, I don’t want to read about it, look at photos of it, or watch the highlights. It’s too much hype.

I wonder if anyone is studying Super Bowl statistics and national trends to predict how long pro football and the Super Bowl will be as popular as they are. I think some year there will be a sudden drop in viewers.

The Super Bowl may be attracting more women and foreigners than thirty years ago, but today’s young people don’t follow football like we did. With concussions and x rays of the brain, fewer kids will play organized football. Ten years ago I think it was, before concussions were worried about, John Madden said high school football isn’t as popular as it used to be, so the NFL better do something to keep kids playing it.

I would love to see pro football go away. Don’t replace it with anything. Just have a peaceful Indian Summer, Fall, and early Winter. The stadiums could be turned into parks or housing or something.

Even though I think football is over-emphasized, it bothers me the smugness with which young people dismiss not just pro sports, but the game. It seems strange not to see boys and young men playing tackle football anymore.

Don’t young guys want to use their bodies? Don’t they like to get dirty, especially after the rain? Don’t they want to let off steam, pretend they are great, cuss up a storm? Don’t they want to swagger and be hot stuff when they win? Don’t they want to fantasize every Saturday afternoon, look down the field and up to the sky and dream?

These young guys I’m talking to you about are offended when I bring up football: “Did you see the game yesterday?” One guy said, “I could’t care less.” Another guy said, ”You mean the game with the dumb ball?” But none of them said ”No. Was it good?” or “No. But my cousin was really good in high school. He got a scholarship to an Ivy League school.”

There is a new consciousness in young people. They think they are morally superior for rejecting football, just like the hippies thought they were morally superior for rejecting the military.

But the young people who think football is bullshit think rectal intercourse and organ removals are on the cutting edge of morality and progressivism. Football is violent, but cruising and sex change operations are good ways for boys to express their manhood.

That’s really what I’m talking about. With football you don’t just express your manhood, you try to prove it. Don’t give up. Don’t complain about the ref. Don’t give cheap shots. Suck it up. Shake hands after the game. Be humble when you win. Don’t be bitter if you lose.

Cruising is an easy way to express your maleness, “the insatiable male lust” feminists never criticized gay guys for. The morally superior people of today who criticize the risk-taking of football players, placed plaques in parks for dead guys who died from countless indulgences in rectal intercorse.

The violence of football is better than the perversion of the bath house.

How heretical Jim!



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko