Memoir

A Meditative Mind Melt: People watching and politics 



Every once in a while, I realize that I`m not living in the reality that I think I`m living in. In fact, It`s like Superman and Bizarro world—everything is opposite from what it should be, or once was.
I had just finished a day`s work on campus and decided to get some lunch. The campus encircles a large and historical drill field which includes a backdrop of beautiful mountains. As I walked into the cafeteria, I said hello to the lunch lady at the cash register. We shared our standard small talk. Being an older student, I usually—like my generation—take a moment to greet this woman daily. I can see the younger students roll their eyes at the two old-fogies holding up the line with meaningless dribble. I take the hint, but I torture them a second more by moving like a turtle, then go my way.
I headed to my favorite spot to sit and eat. And, to my favorite meal—the stir-fry counter. I placed my order and sat my book bag down, awaiting my stir-fry. I sat and did my normal thing…I began to people watch. I love to study people. I love to imagine their stories, their lives, and to figure out what their body language is telling me.
There are tons of good kids, normal kids, on my campus. That said, we have our fair share of “hipsters.” They`re nasty little buggers with nasty attitudes and nasty mouths dressed in nasty cloths. Did I mention they are nasty?
The first thing I saw was a young man that was wearing the typical “hipster” style hair and clothes. As he passed by, I noticed the obviously feminine attributes that he displayed. I thought of my youth, the eighties, and I remembered how rare such a sight would have been. My generation had gays and people who were gender confused, but they were few and far between. They also didn`t go out of their way to make sex their complete identity.  I know some would argue differently, but in those days, you just rarely saw such weak looking boys and men. It gives me the creeps. They are shells, these modern men, which display an indifference to everything but a rebellion against tradition and any moral absolute. To the observer, it tends to produce a depressing feeling of hopelessness concerning the younger generation’s ability to think and act logically, and with any real balls.
As the hipster walked by he was glued to his iPhone. I thought about the world, the enemies of America, ISIS, and all the other very, very serious problems we face in today`s world. I sensed this kid had no clue. Or, like many others, he`s naïve to the realities. He has no clue how cruel, cold, and brutal the world can be. I shook my head and looked to see if my stir-fry was ready. There it sat in all its glory, awaiting me. My eating routine is swift. I don`t chew when I eat, I just shovel in and swallow. I blame the Navy for this dreadful eating habit. I`ve never chocked in my 49 years, but I have managed to gain a significant amount of weight.
The stir-fry counter is maned by two women. One is a white gal that looks like she drinks too much, or has had one hell of a hard life. The other is a black lady that has that typical, “don`t gimme` no drama!” look about her. Both are nice to me. Probably the gray in my beard.
The white gal motioned that my food was ready, and I grabbed it and sat down. I said my prayers and began to eat. I started people watching again. This time, to my right, I saw a young female. She looked like a freshman—very young—and she also looked like a boy. A frail, dirty, little boy. What the hell are we coming to, I thought. It`s so common and so “in style” for kids to change roles today. I really don`t dislike these kids; I just hate what we have done to them. I`m not saying that there aren`t a few gays and lesbians around every school, but almost half the kids I see seem to be gender neutral or confused. I doubt Russia, China, Iran, or ISIS will give a damn, or give any quarter, to these weak minded and naïve people should we end up in battle.
The point that began to form in my head slowly, then more like a rushing flash flood, was that we are in a hell of a lot of trouble if we ever have to really defend our community, our state, or our nation. Yes…yes…I hear ya folks—every generation has its quirks, punks, and sissies. But, I think we are talking about something different. These kids are so disconnected from world history, and the cruelty of real life, that they will not—they refuse—to believe that there is evil in this world. Again, it`s tied to the lack of belief in any moral absolutes. Since there is no real moral authority, no lawgiver, (at least in their minds), then there is no opinion worth considering except the ones that they like. L9fe is full of things we don`t like, unless you choose naive indifference, and then, life is a breeze with no worries.
So, knowing, once again, that there is nothing I can do, I stepped out of the cafeteria and out onto that ticking time-bomb that is our world. I whistled like the old man that passes the cemetery wishing to ignore death, altogether. I headed to my next class choosing to forget that somewhere in the word, at that very second, someone was being horribly murdered, tortured, or abused while I walked freely on the campus of an institution of higher learning on a beautiful, peaceful day.
But…for how long? Who the hell do we think we are? Do we expect that we can never experience the tragic events taking place in the rest of the world. These events and their perpetrators surround us like rabid wolves. It could be years before we experience the true cruelty of humanity. But, it could be months. So, while these kids worry about picking a new color for their iPhone case, I sit at home at night, clean my weapon, and count ammo. Which one of us is crazy?
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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design. Scott continues working on his memoir Twisted Ride. He also maintains a Christian blog: A Disciple's Journey. Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider (with a huge beard). He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. - "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul. I love to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~Scott Biddulph~

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