photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, June 17, 2013

See? That Book-Learnin' is Nuthin' But Trouble

So one of my college course assignments was to look up actual job listings in my chosen field.

*One of the fun things about being an elderly student is that even though I've been managing this clinic for a dozen years, the courses are written for people who have yet to enter the job market. You know- kids. At the end of each chapter in the 'Principles of Management' textbook ($180 USED and stinks of cigarettes) is a page that says "Practice being a manager" with little exercises and shit. It's awesome.

Anyhoo. We were to look up three actual positions that are open and rate them using certain criteria. So I did. And the one is something that I could qualify for NOW. Of course they prefer the letters-behind-the-name that I'm working towards, but it doesn't say 'required'; just 'prefer'.

It's a third more than what I'm currently making.

It's in Oregon.

That's a helluva commute from Texas.

And yet...

...We considered the PNW away back when we were first together, Ward and I.

In the end we stayed in East Texas and have been happy here.

We ARE happy here.


Oh, it's not the heat in the summer or the drought in the summer or the myriad things that are waiting to bite, sting or otherwise inject or smear toxins all over and into the unsuspecting human body.

It's toxins of another sort.

When I moved here nigh unto 20 years ago this December, Texas was still pretty blue.

I know. Hard to believe.

But just that recently and before, Texas was staunchly Big D in more ways than one.

Well, we see how it is now.

Fucking toxic.

And we worry. We worry about our boy growing up in such a socially ass-backwards backwater of the US where all we as Texan non-fundamental conservatives can do is whisper "Thank heavens for Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul" and as far as our public school ratings whisper "Thank heavens for Mississippi" and when any of our batshit crazy pols open their mouths to do anything but insert bbq all we can do is try to stand tall and say, "We're not ALL this way".

But we're damn near surrounded and overwhelmed.

Don't get me wrong- we have friends here who are loved and true. As time goes by, however, more and more of them are in the progressive pockets of Denton and Austin, and even those are looking to the PNW for relief from the sheer weight of oppressive fundamentalism.

I had dinner the other night with a dear friend who had a falling out with her church family. Won't go into details but at the end of the night I said something about thinking of moving to the PNW before the fundamentals burn me at the stake. I said it as a joke but she didn't laugh. We hugged and she looked troubled.

That ain't the America I live in.

And if it were just me? It wouldn't matter.

In fact, it looks like coming up right quick, we'll be looking at a brand new Texas- turning blue again. Not because of education or enlightenment or anything crazy like that but just because of numbers. As of now the white population in Texas is 49%. They're gonna be outnumbered for the first time in a long time. And that makes me smile.

It's not just the random job opening. The friend I had dinner with? Moving to Washington state...tomorrow.

We're house-sitting for friends this weekend. They're going to Portland with half an eye on moving there.

We already have friends up yonder, and more who are thinking about it- thinking about getting their families out of places intent on rolling back to the good old days...when white men were kings and everyone else chattel.

I don't think they'll anyway.

On the one hand it's exciting to me to be right in the thick of it while it's churning and roiling; this fetid red tide being overtaken once again by blue.

The other hand isn't so sure. Because these soon-to-be outvoted old white conservative bible-thumping geezers and their followers will never go down without a fight- that ain't the Texas Way. The Texas Way is to defend Honor and the shit you believe in by fighting dirty and underhanded if necessary.

And that's where the whole stake burning thing comes in.

"Pshaw!" you say and "Fiddlesticks!" This is modern-day America. We don't do that sort of thing anymore.

Please keep in mind that within the last several years (not decades or centuries) Texas has produced horrible atrocities against women, minorities, and anyone else the bible can be twisted to say is unclean or unnatural.

I never in my life thought I'd be apprehensive about living anywhere in America unless air-dropped into East LA or Detroit or Beverly Hills- places not fit for human habitation.

And yet in the last decade I've started to feel it. It's not me. I haven't changed.

It's them.

They're cornered and frightened and desperate.

And fucking armed to the teeth and twitchy.

I have my home here- my almost newly built home here on the piece of the planet that is more dear to me than anywhere I've ever been.

But I feel the electricity in the air, dangerous with fear and frustration and anger.

And everything in me screams to get my loved ones out of here before it erupts.


I never saw that coming.


  1. Go west young lady! (and take me with you pleeeeeaaaasseeee!)

  2. Silly wabbit- you're the "ones who are thinking about it" friends listed above :)