Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Welcoming

painting from

The Welcoming

“Only cops and vampires have to have an
invitation to enter.”--Christopher Moore.

I was traveling through the Midwest
last year--a road trip to visit
cousins who have a dairy farm
near Fort Dodge, Iowa.

On the way there,
I was tooling down U.S. Route 69,
listening to “Hot Country K97”,
when I swung over the Des Moines River,
drove south on Central Avenue
into the heart of Fort Dodge,
stopping at the old Wahkonsa Hotel.
They’ve got a great bar there
and I needed a beer badly.

I sat on a stool at the bar,
and sipped at the cold brew.
A heavy set man in a dirty down vest,
a red plaid shirt and a John Deere ball cap,
sat down next to me. He spoke softly.

Hey, stranger--you just traveling through?
Yup. I’ve got some cousins on a farm nearby.
Did you know that Gene Ford, the major league
pitcher, came from right here?
Sorry, I don’t really follow sports that much.
Tell me, are you a nigger lover?
Shocked, I stammered...I’m from Seattle--and we
tend to be pretty liberal there.
Around here, we’ve kept the darkie population down
to 5%--and the beaners too, 5%.
Uh-huh--so what do you do for a living?
I’m a long haul truck driver, a flatbed carrier, hauling
drywall all over the country.
Yeah--I hear that the gypsum mills here are huge.
Mostly we’re all loyal Republicans in these parts.
President Trump is like a God to us. For the first
time since the 50’s, we can be proud
to be Americans.
Do you think that he is doing a good job as President?
Damn rights--he’s our kind of guy. We’re still unhappy
about those eight years we suffered under that 
nigger monkey raghead Obama.
Ah, please, before you continue, know that I am
a Democrat, and we do not see eye to eye on
politics or your world view.
World view? Shit, I figured as much. I can spot
a Commie Liberal a country mile off.
Looking around, I said--Sounds like I may not
be very welcome here.
You catch on fast, numb-nuts.
Several other men began to gather behind me.
I could see a Nazi tattoo on the neck of one.
We’re not unfriendly--so finish your beer and
then get your leftist ass the fuck out of here!

I abandoned what was left of my beer--
their laughter and cat-calls ushered
me out the door. Christ, this was not
the town I had visited a decade before.
Something wicked had past through 
before me.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


tonispencer said...

Wow. This is brutal. The trumpler does have that effect on people. the narrator was lucky he was not murdered.

sarah said...

This is chilling. My son is doing the Civil rights movement in history at the moment, so we are very away of the violence of not so long ago. The U.K. Is becoming more and more racist. Fear breeds hatred. We need more bridges, not fewer. I could feel the ugliness bubbling under in this.

Gina said...

something wicked really sums up the entire scenario

Unknown said...

This gave me chills - the ripples have crossed the border - have had encounters like this in Canada too. Very scary.

Dwight L. Roth said...

Not a very pleasant welcome. A rather frightening story.

Kim M. Russell said...

Chilling and scary: 'Something wicked this way comes'. A return to the bad old days.

Frank Hubeny said...

Well described change of times.

Amaya said...

Those types are always touting "land of free" this and that when it really is just land of the free to be a racist ass is what they care about. As far as the painting, DT looks quite becoming with a black eye. (Did I just say that out loud?)

brudberg said...

I have not been over there since the change, but I can see the changes creeping into our country too... I think you have a point that there is a lot of pride lost... and maybe that's the key for change. People have to have some pride... just not the sickly racist one. said...

Terrific piece of reportage. Felt I was sitting right there in the bar.

lynn__ said...

Quite the piece of passionate (and profane) propaganda, Glenn! I think we all should avoid extremes as that is what divides us.

indybev said...

Sad to think there are such miscreants in our country, and their views are being encouraged by The Trumpet. I feel the need to speak for the 99% of Midwesterners … hard-working, God-fearing, honest, friendly and kind … the unsung heroes! Your story is piercing and stupefying. said...

This is terrifying because it is truth for many people out there. Powerful story of Trump’s new frontier.

Helen said...

At first I didn’t know where your prose was going ... then, my heart began to race, my mouth hung open and I felt true terror. What have we become?

Grace said...

Goodness, this is frightening and I hate to travel to the US now. Its hatred all around, sorry.