Trinh Dinh

“Mister Meo,” intoned the judge this morning, after a trial of Your Intrepid Reporter had drawn to a close in Court Room 216 of the so-called Multnomah County Courthouse on the WellNoNotthe Park Blocks in the Judicial System quarter of River City, Cascadia Bioregion, North America, “believes that he has a Constitutional right to access to a public accommodation after the management has told him he is not welcome. As a matter of legal fact he is wrong.

“He is therefore convicted of the crime.”

The result, if in this blog post at the end of a busy day I summarize for what I suppose are equally busy people for whom my confrontation over actual real live civil liberties being denied actual real live people here in River City is of only marginal interest, the result is a stand-off. The judge may have found me guilty of breaking the law, but I was placed on bench probation.

You do remember what I asked Judge Alfonso Zirpoli for, back in 1970 when I refused the so-called draft during the so-called Vietnam War era? You don’t? Well, okay, Your Intrepid Reporter will obligingly bring you up to speed. Forty-five years ago, at a an equal crucial moment as this one in his life, Your Intrepid reporter asked for, but was denied, [ahem] probation.

Now I got probation. Brer Rabbit is in the briar patch, thank you.

Postscriptum: the brilliant defense lawyer D. Aehegma raised the issue of Constitutional rights by citing State versus Marbet, and Your Intrepid Reporter was never given liberty and opportunity to ask whether the “Marbet” was Lloyd Marbet, personally known for some years to Your Intrepid Reporter; we’ve stood in demonstrations together, lamenting the waste of time and energy these misspent efforts at political activity drain from the progressives of America.

But now for the most important event of the day. I came home, after what I suggest was a legal stand-off, to find God waiting for me at the subway station. Okay, I’m not supposed to call it a subway station. It’s more correct to call it a light rail station. But the working-class stiffs who I want to vote for me cannot manage to use a general term: the specific light-rail system whose station they exit is MAX: so they say the MAX station. You see what I mean? I say subway station, and people think I’m odd. I’m odd, am I? Well, as far as I’m concerned the only one with a problem is you, ma’am.

Where was I

— You met God.

Well, before we get into details, I have told you that for me personally, and I have a theory about this, God is a woman. The theory is, ladies and gentlemen, and you will have to admit after you read this that you did indeed read it here first, that God, being as It/He/She represents our spiritual aim and goal, to get closer to God, that God is only real for you the Believer when God appears in the person of the opposite sex.

Well, when God appears in the person of whatever gives you an erection?

Well, try again, when God appears in the person of what turns your desire button on.

Your God is really an internal symbol, what Jung called a feature of the Collective Unconscious, like mandala or a swastika. Okay?

And that means that you perceive God as a female, if you like tits and ass, and as a male if you like getting fucked.

The establishment of patriarchy by the Dorian invades of Greece in circa 700 BC (oh there I go again: I’m supposed to say “Before the Common Era,” “BCE”, not “BC”, the way we did for the entire length of the last century) thus was a mix-up: the previous males had worshipped for many many years their female goddess, and the Greeks brought in, which was enhanced and added to by the Jews, male gods. Well, the only ones who liked that were the women.

Hubba-hubba, Jesus is gonna enter into me and give me a spiritual thrill. It’s a woman’s religion, as has been pointed out by many social observers, is nineteenth and twentieth-century era Christianity.

In my own case, God has Three Persons, since three female persons are represented as determining a man’s life in Greek stories told around the campfire. One Fate spins the life, one measures its length, and the third, the youngest and prettiest of them, cuts it. Kills you. That’s God for you. Don’t expect Her to do you any big favors, but you could see whether She’d condescend to letting you have kids, if you chose wisely when you look for a mate. She’s really willing to penalize you very harshly, even kill you, for losing the aim in life, the aim of community.

So there she was, a woman of indeterminate age, with bad teeth and a pathetic pile of pennies and nickels beside her, at the exit to the Lloyd Center Max station — you’ll pardon me if I fail to capitalize the way the Machine wants.

I told her I did not carry money. It was silly to ask me for change, since I buy things, like everybody else (virtually), using a credit card. I did indeed have cash, I told God, this female beggar who fulfilled the words of the Scripture, which I could quote in Latin but that would be showing off, so let me just say I am not making it up, it’s there, that these Least of Ye is when you see The Face of God. In the homeless, the poor, the beggars. I told God I had cash — I had twenty dollars, but I wasn’t giving to Her.

I pulled out my wallet and showed her the pile of receipts.

“You have five dollar in there,” she said. God said.

“Come on,” I said. “You’re having lunch. And I am going to watch every bite going into that mouth of yours.”

We had lunch in a Chinese restaurant next to the Lloyd center subway station. She ate. I asked questions. She mostly said “Thank you” an awful lot.

But the person Trinh Dinh is 46 years old, and I told her she is the age of my non-existent child from when I was a man of twenty-three.

I told Trinh Dinh that I taught English as a second Language here in Portland for about ten years, and my favorite students were the vietnamese females. I used to say to them, and I repeated this to the female of approximately the same age as that my Roosevelt High school students, back in the Nineties of the last century, would have today, I used to say that when I die and go to heaven they’re going to give me a high-school class full of Vietnamese girls.

I told Trinh Dinh that she, born in Ho Chi Minh [the former Saigon] in 1969, was a member of this community, and she ought not go hungry. I told Trinh Dinh that she could sleep, if need arose, on my front porch at 2925 Northeast Weidler Street across the street from Hollywood Fred Meyer.

I told her that I stayed up late, the light would be on, and the door locked. I wanted her to feel safe, and being on my porch for the night, with me working just beyond the door, would be the best protection I could give her.

And the best part, she got to choose whether she wanted it.

Like I said, I heard not much more than the words “Thank you” repeated a lot.

Update 8 pm, 6 May 2015 : Trinh Dinh just called. She’s coming over.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Barbara Ellis, Bradley Manning, Brian Willson, Education, Fascism, Inequality, John Schweibert, Lloyd Marbet. Bookmark the permalink.

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