Steve is in recovery from what he hesitates to call the worst years of his life. It started with the disillusionment of being left in the aftermath of the first peak in the green anarchy movement.
Starting from the points where green anarchy had failed to answer, he flocked to the baptismal pool of academic understanding. Interpreting replaced experiencing, analyzing took priority over feeling and compassionate objectification secretly ousted subjective uncertainty in such a subtle manner that it went even more unrecognized than the most successful of CIA coups.
While entrenched in this world where the political is always separate from the personal; his intimate love life started to more and more resemble the aftermath of a 15,000 pound Daisy-cutter bomb dropped upon a small Afghani town; or more suitably a pioneer wagon circle around the piled corpses of tens of thousands of bison. Following in the same manner which the settlers did to the Indians, he inched towards relationships that destroyed him, the starving, as he desperately approached searching for any subsistence.
Soon armed with a liberal arts Bachelor’s degree, his metamorphosis finalized uniformed in fashionably tacky hipster clothing and a religious dependency on alcohol that makes a normal addiction look like child’s play. Realizing that his career options ranged from bad to atrocious, he signed up to be a soldier among the ranks in the United States government’s domestic cheerleading branch, Ameri-Corps.
He could not perceive this just quite yet, but analogous with the Vandals, Luddites, and countless indigenous before him, every self-inflicted attempt to defoliate his spirits and systemic defilement into assimilation was resisted by something fermenting insistently inside of him. So while this mischievous brew permeated through premature emotional negativity such as frustration, disappointment, depression and anxiety, his nervous childhood ticks came back to seemingly nullify his self-perception and self-esteem. Then unbeknownst, this brew left percolating grew darker and stronger, stronger and richer, richer and bolder, until in all its boldness it replenished his insurrectionary beauty, as if the first signs of re-growth from a much belated spring had finally arrived.
Like a rainstorm does to the aged and shredded layers of paint on a ran-down drug reddened dope house, he broke through the pieces of anguish and trauma built up from the previous days, weeks, months and years. In replication of how someone would eat an artichoke, he worked his way backwards through memory and emotions, peeling back pedal by pedal, going through layer by layer, digesting and internalizing any valuable meat along the way, while discarding the remainders. He made his way back to his heart.
Not much long after, in economic desperation, he took up the job to clear out a forest of invasive species. On one of these days he worked on taking out some Himalayan blackberry brambles. Cutting through layers the same way he did his own life, but this time he was left even more startled by what he found in the center of this so-called problem. Nestled in the large thorn fortress, a mamma had protectively hid her two baby raccoons. Who was Steve to evict these two from the safety of their blackberry home?
As two baby coons stared up at him, he was re-grounded once again in the quest of what it meant to be alive. He lowered his machete and walked away from the brambles, deciding then and there that no amount of paid reward would ever be worth the destruction of a place that another called home. Feelings, experience and the particular; these were the only weapons he would ever need to challenge each new situation; to live as a human; to live as an animal. And maybe, just maybe, a few pounds of TNT.
Written from Nueces County Jail
(Transcribed by Charity)