Chicagoland Joseph S. Pete is an Iraq War veteran, an award-winning journalist, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, and a frequent guest on Lakeshore Public Radio in Merrillville. He's a Pushcart and Best of Net nominee. 10 followers / 1.9k words
Some days, the words flow forth like the mighty Mississippi River. Some days, they trickle like a creek. Some days, drought ravages the barren land, the word processor screen as blank as the expansive emptiness of a sun-charred desert landscape.
We went to war. We went to war. We went to that godforsaken war. We went to war as fair-cheeked boys and came home as wizened old men. We left behind the best of us on that unforgiving battlefield and never live down our great needling guilt, that all-consuming sense it should have been us instead. It should have been us instead.
Oh nascent soul in a starched Oxford, know that corporate grinds you down, takes your time, your hustle, your ambition, your early mornings and late nights at the office, missed time with family and friends.
They steal your health, your waistline, your smoldering fire, your last spark, your giddy sense of a boundless future and endless possibility.
You ***** away, grind yourself down so shareholders who swim in pools of more money than they’ll ever realistically need can reap a marginal benefit.
And in the end, no matter how much you give them, they’ll just cast you aside like trash anyway. There’s no more expectation of a gold watch at retirement, no more decency to the people who keep the profit flowing in.
It’s a machine that chews you up and expectorates you. It’s a machine that knows no kindness, no mercy. It’s a machine that feasts on blood and rumbles on eternally.