Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Title apologies to George Lucas as I give my best imitation of an opening crawl from a tike's memory of the summer of 1977.

After having lived and worked in Kiev, Ukraine for the past two and a half years both teaching and as a journalist on someone else's nickel, when the word came this very crisp November morning of the city's latest English language newspaper casualty...I actually wasn't all that surprised.

And to tell you the God's honest truth, I was more than a little relieved.

How much is your time worth? Scratch that...moreover, how much is your opinion worth? How much does what you believe in cost?

Mine actually came relatively cheaply. Although for Ukraine, maybe it was considered a heftier wasn't enough. How in the hell could it ever be?

When one voluntarily (the 'one' referenced being ME in this case) chooses to continue to accept his paycheck over speaking what he believes to be the truth...EVEN IF IT AIN' much is enough to sell that right down the Goddamned river. Said river being the Dnipro in this case.

So why do it? Convenience? The ease of rolling out of bed and writing in my pajamas did have a nice feel to it, I gotta admit. And how about only popping in to the paper's office twice a month to collect said phat ex-pat paycheck. Oh yeah, convenient. But there's got to be more than that.

Did I just get fucking lazy? Bingo.

Understanding that laziness in this sense is not what Americans 'traditionally' define as such. No, I'm not talking about eating on the couch watching your damned 'stories' in the afternoon while downing a box of fucking ho-hos actually hearing yourself get fatter over the deafening silence that has become your little red, white and blah life.'s a different kind of lazy. I work damned hard. Every damned day. Anyone who writes can and will tell you to a man...IT'S HARD. Sure sometimes it flows, but more often than not, particulalry when you're writing about something that you couldn't possibly care any fucking less about, it can be a grind. It was the very days of grain prices and rolled steel indexes that would drive one to drink. Ah, but the political side of turn a phrase on a savory conflict or the inevitable destructive collisions. Now that was simply pure bliss.

But as to my laziness...why in the hell did I come here in the first place? What am I doing in the former Soviet Union, and why in the name of all that is Russian Orthodox and holy am I still in Ukraine? Because I couldn't do lazy anymore.

I simply couldn't take anymore of the boxed up, buttoned down, fast food, finger lickin' good American notion of what S-U-C-C-E-S-S meant. Comfort at the cost of caring, of giving a damn and not merely wandering THROUGH this life instead of engaging IN thanks.

Not to mention that I'd finally found a woman who was more than ready to break out of the culture too. That fine young lass would go on to become my blushing (well...okay, not really) bride and continues to this day serve as a reminder of the who that brought me to this particular spot in Ukraine's capital. She continues to drive me. Even when I forget that she has that oh so incredible ability to do so. And this cannot be underestimated.

But as to the why? I've allowed myself to forget. Comfort tends to have that effect on some people, most certainly on this 'people'.

I can't do that anymore. And here's to the hoping that putting it out there for the world to call me on...I won't.


all your dreams can conceive.


Post a Comment

<< Home