Monday, April 20, 2009


Note from the wire services: over the last 30 years, pharmaceuticals--some 271 million pounds of them--have been dumped by drug companies into American water sources. These include contraceptives, antidepressants, nitroglycerin, sex hormones, anti-convulsants, antibiotics, antiseptics, nicotine, head-lice insecticides, sedatives, skin bleaching agents, codeine, blood thinners, and erectile dysfunction drugs.

Since chemical companies have no inclination of owning up to their egregious criminality, I'll hold up my slender end:

"Dear D,
I have no idea what got into me. I came home from that trip to the writer's conference in Chicago to find that your sister drank that bottle of rare rum that I brought home from the Yucatan. I tossed an electric fan out the second-story window. I know you had your car parked and ready to go the following morning. And I went to the Tuscaloosa community counseling center that afternoon, where the counselor told me I apparently just didn't have enough outside activities and "oughta just go fishin' more often." I appreciate that you gave me another chance. My behavior could very well have been attributed to the blood thinners, nitroglycerin, or sex hormones dumped into the Black Warrior River. Or it may have been that time I was jogging along the Alabama streets when the mosquito district truck drove past and coated me in that insecticide fog. But I finally found out it was unchecked alcoholism and a mood disorder! You deserved better."


You never did give me that whopping bonus you promised. In fact, you killed off the entire staff in layoffs because the twenty-somethings running the company burned the gift horse into the ground with endless parties in Vegas. I must have been out of my mind from all the blood thinners in the San Jose water supply when I believed your tech guy when he said you wouldn't notice the laptop of yours that I took when I quit as equity against the unpaid bonus. I know I brought it back to you when I got into recovery and made financial amends. But it could have been the blood thinners and head-lice insecticides that made me act like a petty thief. Just sayin'."


"Dear M,
We had been so dang careful, too. And, with all those contraceptives they'd been dumping into the water in Palo Alto, who'd have thought you'd get pregnant? It's been easy for me despite living in a culture that apparently has its head up its ass to accept that your decisions about your body are yours to make. But hardly anywhere is it written about the hole in the heart that men feel when the woman they love decide not to have your child. Today I'm grateful that they had been dumping antidepressants and nicotine into San Francisco Bay so I could keep a smile on my face and hold your hand as you had to cross that picket line of righteous assholes that tried to make you feel like Charles Manson as you went into the clinic, slamming their placards against your body with all the disregard to human life they protested. I love you still, and I'm delighted to see the photos of the grown boys you've raised with your steady hand."


"Dear Valley West,
I'm sorry about that night in my 20s when I had tequila for the first time and went out, apartment-by-apartment with a screwdriver, removing everyone's locks in an effort to "set them free from corporate greed". You made me pay, and I deserved it. But instead of the tequila, it may have been the codeine dumped into the drinking water that flowed out of those designer taps in your upscale kitchen. But if it was my fault, please know I never did anything so close to stupid as that again."


"Dear Corporate America,
I had some serious chemical dumping problems those messy years. They were all of my own making. And while I did a great many things I'm not proud about, I've since cleaned up my own waste. I'm far from being the poster child for a well-centered, well-mannered individual, but I have found exceptional grace in owning up, paying back, walking straight, and changing the way I act to those most precious beings who share this fragile, tender, crowded space.

Try it sometime."


Char said...

I cried when they dumped all of my father's drugs in the toilet when he died....all that lovely xanax.

but yeah, what a way to deal with this.

Anonymous said...

I am constantly amazed at your writing. How did our world get so screwed up? Oh, forget that, I remember.

Yoli said...

You always hit the nail on the head.

A Cuban In London said...

Spot on, boy! Another great outing. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.