August 6 was the 62nd anniver­sary of the Hiroshima bomb. The sec­ond fell over Nagasaki on the ninth. So I guess this was on my mind.

Well, I had other rea­sons. A cou­ple of friends who were mar­ried nearly a year ago plan to take their first anniver­sary hon­ey­moon in Japan in October. Sweetly enough, they asked if I’d like to come along (with other friends too; it’s not a bizarre kink-​​romp), a kind of Autumn spring break. They’re plan­ning to stum­ble around Tokyo wear­ing T-​​shirts that say Stupid Gaijin on them.

Of course I’d like to come along, I said.

And then.

Tonight, I don’t really know why, I got to think­ing of Pompeii, of Vesuvius, of how it must have been for the peo­ple there, their lives stopped in the midst of liv­ing, hud­dling together to escape the pyro­clas­tic flow, their arms wrapped around each other in a final embrace of fear or love or both in that titanic final human moment as their brains were turned to liq­uid by the heat of the death that ended them; and some of them were, must have been strangers to one another; and yet then, there, it did not mat­ter. Men and women, boys and girls; moth­ers wrap­ping them­selves around their chil­dren — anyone’s chil­dren — in a hope­less act of pro­tec­tion; peo­ple flee­ing in ter­ror to the har­bor and dying there, together but so alone, so very alone, by the water, by the sea.

Like strangers join­ing hands atop the dying WTC, and step­ping off the edge, and falling, falling, falling for­ever and never see­ing the ground; know­ing only at the last that sim­ple thing, that sim­ple hand in a warm hand.

I thought of the casts that were left by their bod­ies in the ash, dis­cov­ered later by mod­ern archae­ol­o­gists, and how I’ve seen some of them weep as they spoke of their finds.

That human, that so very human moment.

And I thought of Hiroshima, of the mon­u­ments to the dead, of the stains of shad­ows on con­crete that freeze, pho­to­sta­t­i­cally, a life lived and then lost in less than a breath.

And I wept.

And as I scrubbed my hands over my cheeks and went to wash my face, I looked at the flow from the tap, felt it fall cool over my hands, and I thought mizu, they asked for mizu, this, water as they lay dying; how easy it is for me now to have this sim­ple, cool­ing, blessed thing; and I thought of the offer­ing of water and rice I place before my Buddharupa when I med­i­tate, and for the first time in my life I truly under­stood why ges­tures like that can be so impor­tant, and I thought of small del­i­cate cups of mizu, of water, being placed before the burned shad­ows of the dead in Hiroshima, and I thought it’ll never be enough for all of them, and I sobbed, and I wept more, and I realized.

The United States dropped two nuclear devices over civil­ian cities in Japan, and — just as Cheney made his lawyer friend apol­o­gize for hav­ing the poor man­ners to be shot in the face by the US VP — we some­how man­aged to jus­tify this mon­strous, ter­ri­ble crime to ourselves.

And to the rest of the world.

Including the nation we’d nuked.

And rather than learn from this, we’re cow­boy­ing across the planet again, get­ting into point­less piss­ing con­tests that might well end in the same way. The world was, in a very real way, much safer in the Cold War era; and a chief desta­bi­lizer today is the very nation in which I live.

I can protest what the US does. I can mock its shoddy lead­er­ship. But the fact is, how­ever much I squeal, that every day I live and work here, my taxes are going to feed an insa­tiable, psy­chotic mur­der­ous war machine that devours chil­dren, women, men — entire nations — whole and for no good reason.

I don’t think I can do this any more.

Nah, nah; this ain’t a GBCW post. I’m far too arro­gant to think the world could carry on with­out me, all evi­dence to the con­trary notwith­stand­ing. Besides, I like liv­ing. It’s fun to do, not the least because it pisses some peo­ple off. And the orgasms are nice.

No, this is more of an appeal for help, sug­ges­tions and so on, from some­one who might actu­ally be moti­vated to emigrate.

Canada makes the most sense to me; it’s near­est and easiest.

I thought of emi­grat­ing before, in the late 90s, when it seemed that the most impor­tant thing I’d ever have to worry about was whether I might be able to marry my boyfriend.

It’s dif­fer­ent now. There is blood on my hands now. And it’s been there for more than half a decade.

I’m think­ing BC. Vancouver would be nice, I think. Or Victoria. I hear it’s a lovely, if wet, islet.

I lived in Milwaukee for a while and loved the hell out of it, so I know nei­ther the lat­i­tude nor the cold would mess me up much. (And, when I was there, I noticed Toronto wasn’t too far away either.)

So here’s my ques­tion. This isn’t some­thing I’d under­take quickly or with­out quite a lot of prepa­ra­tion. I’m a well-​​skilled graphic artist (award-​​winning, if you must know), with more than a lit­tle tal­ent for writ­ing, who has a strong solid back­ground in pro­gram­ming rich media and web­sites (though I’d pre­fer to leave that a casual rela­tion­ship, much as it is now). I vastly pre­fer work­ing for non-​​profit con­cerns, agen­cies that make the world bet­ter — at least osten­si­bly — rather than exist to fat­ten a CEO’s Swiss num­bers. And I swim extremely well in the seas of met­ro­pol­i­tan areas.

I won­der just how hard it would be for me to find a niche in the Great White North; but I need a few con­tacts to run some info for me on the ground.

Not today, not tomor­row. Think six to twelve months or so.

If any­one Up Nort Dere Hey hap­pens to see this, and if you hap­pen to hear of a posi­tion open­ing some­where, rel­a­tively soon­ish, that might inter­est me, some­thing I might match, well, kick me a note some­time, if you would.

Because I’m tired of being even mar­gin­ally respon­si­ble for the mur­ders com­mit­ted with my money by my nation in my name, and I just don’t want to par­tic­i­pate any more. I’m tired of this game, and I think I want out of it.


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