From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Wednesday December 14, 2011 1:35PM
Subject: Holiday letter.
I thought it might boost camaraderie and the whole morale thing if I were to send a holiday letter out to the office.
You see, it would appear that a large number of you do not like me. I cannot understand why, as we’ve had such a great year, you and I. Like the time I offered to start up a daycare service, but all of you spat in my face. Or when I suggested obliterating a window across the street with a cannon to free pigeons—and was, once again, spat upon. Or maybe the time I offered to sell one of you a very nice handbag purchased from a special source in South America. And was spat upon.
No matter. It’s all in the past, as they say. I hold no grudges, as grudges tend to turn into wishes for obliteration, and there are times—though I have never had anything like that—when those wishes come to fruition. Thus, there is nothing to worry about. Nor will there be.
How to summarize this year? It’s been an interesting one, you can count on that. It started when I was the subject of police brutality in Chicago. They were under the impression that I was “stalking” someone, when I was really ensuring that the girl in question made it to her apartment safely. I’ve just finished with my physical therapy, so there’s that.
After that, in February, there was the unfortunate incident on the Nashville MTA on the day of the Ice Hell. You know what I mean: That day when the entire city lost its collective mind and there was naught but chaos on the streets. It took the bus eight hours to make it down West End Avenue. No matter how many times I apologized to my fellow bus riders for trampling the elderly man who works for the state, they would not cease calling for my public stoning.
No matter. They will have their comeuppance. And, you know, it’s not like the old man didn’t recover. He may still be unable to walk, but I’ve heard that he can ingest food now. So there’s that.
Since then, I received the news that my liver is half-way deteriorated. This was not the best possible outcome of my forced physical (thanks, Obama), but I suppose it was an important thing to learn. The doctor gave me a prescription of pills that, he said, were supposed to contribute to the regrowth of my liver. Of course, that did not happen. Instead, I found that whenever I walked outside into direct sunlight, my skin would erupt into hundreds of tiny bumps.
I then went to a dermatologist to have it checked out. He took one look at me and said, “Your liver is shot.” I asked about the bumps on my skin, and he responded with a simple shrug. “It might be your body shutting down,” he said.
I’m sure that this is proof that there is no God in the Christian sense. One who loves His creations and does whatever it takes to be a benevolent deity. It does not, however, rule out the existence of the Old Testament God, my people’s God, who could be diagnosed with anger problems. It is entirely possible that Adonai has seen the way I’ve acted (read: not going to shul every week) and has decided that the only course of action possible is to smite me in a horrible way.
So, that in mind, I’ve decided to sod the medical advice of my doctor—whose pills have resulted in what seem to be some horrid condition not entirely different from what I would imagine the plague would have been like—and dive into whiskey at any available opportunity.
Thus, I would like to announce the creation of a philanthropic organization: The Aaron Simon Society For Those Who Want To Die In An Alcoholic Haze. The mission of the charity will be to provide the finest liquor to those with terminal diseases who, like me, have just given up. Ideally, the charity would provide only scotch, but I recognize that not everyone has my refined palate. So, the non-profit’s cabinets will stock vodka, gin, tequila, and any other available liquor including wine.
If you are interested in donating, please contact me and I will forward you information. (NOTE: This is not a tax-deductible organization. The bastards in Washington have the antiquated belief that a man does not have the right to commit suicide by drinking, and have thus contacted me and said that my charity will not have any support from Washington. Let’s see any of them get whiskey from me when they have cancer of the bowels.)
Since I received that news, I’ve been attempting to wheel my life more towards a Dudelike existence. I should say that all of you make it obscenely hard to abide. With your incessant demands to “do work” and “stop harassing your coworkers with vague threats,” one would think that this is not meant to be a friendly work environment.
Well, other than that, it’s been a slow year. Coming into this fluorescent-lit hell every day and seeing my soul slowly deteriorate to nothing more than a puddle at the bottom of the shell that once housed a man who wanted nothing more than to make millions off of novel writing, and then squander all those millions on prostitutes, whiskey, and drugs, eventually fading out to a spark of what once was and then dying, alone and alienated, in the gutter. A modern-day Poe.
Have yourself a good holiday, whatever it is.
P.S. Ted Hayward: You are only receiving this e-mail because it would take too much time to take you off of the list. “EVERYONE” includes you, and you should feel glad that I am too lazy to select everyone but you. If I were to write a letter specifically to you, it would consist of nothing more than photographs of the dead.
I’ve got a friend in Nashville–let’s call him Jake, because that’s his name–with whom I meet every week or so and have what I like to call “Gloom and Doom” time. G&D time occurs every week because, without fail, there’s generally one thing that happens that makes us both ashamed to be Americans. Generally speaking, these events are solely the fault of people in Washington—generally Republicans, but Obama’s contributed to our G&D sessions as well—and, though we’re usually at a lunch place having wings or Mediterranean, you’d think we’re hunched over some derelict bar knocking back whiskeys.
All that started at UT, around the time when the first recession hit and Bush announced the bailouts for the automotive and banking industries. We were at Einstein Brothers’ Bagels in the Art and Architecture Building (back when they had challah rolls there—oh, man, those were the days). I took the position that finally this meant that industry was coming under the warm embrace of The State, inexorably leading to a socialist paradise. Jake took the position that it was all cronyism. Jake was, of course, right, and I was wrong.
Then, when the health care bill was first getting rolling we were back at EBB and talking about all the ways that the Republicans were going to neuter this thing and render it the limping mostly-mess we see today. (Mind you, they don’t feel they did enough to it. You listen to the rhetoric of the right when it comes to the Affordable Health Care Act and it sounds like they’re the medieval Church screaming about infidels.) This time, I saw no way to give it an optimistic spin and was right there with Jake, groaning about how this was a pretty good indicator that, as long as Obama’s in office, the Republicans won’t work with the Democrats, and the Democrats will compromise their platforms as much as humanly possible.
And then, as many of these stories go, I went away to England for a year and had a good life. Then I came back and it all came crashing back to normality.
The reason I told you all of that is to get you good and used to the sorts of conversations we had, because this week’s G&D session was a fun one. Jake, who’s been teaching at a high school around town, was joking about how we need a Great Terror to get the country on track again. I didn’t agree, mostly because I have as one of my mottos, “Don’t be a dick,” but then that changed around one PM.
That’s around the time when I watched Rick Perry’s new campaign ad, titled “Strong.” It should have been called “Insane.” Have you seen this fucking thing? Look at it. Look.
Holy shit, right? Now, if you’re like me, you went “holy shit,” first when he used the term “gays” said like that, which I’ve only ever heard comedians use when they’re doing an act (well, that’s an exaggeration; I’ve heard it plenty of times, honestly–I live in the South, remember?), and then, second, when he pulled the dual-punch of the Christian persecution bullshit and “Obama’s war on religion.”
That’s what this is going to be about. The insanity of the sense of Christian persecution and then the further insanity of Obama’s war on religion. Because they’re interwoven, you see, and I’ll tell you why.