Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Freedom Wrings I

As a general rule, I am not the least bit political. I have never really taken a position on any issue that I can remember. I tend to sit up on my mountain and shake my head at the arguments that I hear on both sides of the fence. I shake my head in disbelief at people who have no idea what they believe even though they will scream and yell at the others until they are hoarse. They go to war puffed with pride and are willing to die for issues that they clearly don't understand. How can I sit back and remain silent when people try to back up what they believe in with what amounts to gibberish? That is where this series began to germinate in my mind.

Joe is the picture-book definition of a redneck, right down to the pouch of Redman chaw in his shirt pocket and his beat-up Ford pickup. He has quite a salty past and makes many people uncomfortable not only with his manner of speaking, but also with what he says. Joe's favorite movie is Born on the Fourth of July and he could watch the Blue Collar gang for weeks on end. He owns 4 or 5 shirts that he has purposely ripped the sleeves off of.

The sleeveless look works with some people, but with Joe, not so much. His arms are battle scarred. He sports a tattoo on his left biceps that says "Milie", even though his ex-wife was named Millie. He had a bit too much to drink the night that he got this addition. He attempted to embellish it with a red hot iron the year she left him. Now his upper arm looks infected and sore.

Most folks would probably cover up their past wounds so as not to show their stupidity, or their broken past. Not Joe. He wears his sleeveless shirts like some sort of badge of honor. He will tell you without the slightest bit of irony that sleeveless shirts are to be worn proudly as the U.S. Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to bare arms.

Do you understand your freedoms?

(Part 1 of 2)