09 March 2011

Second time as Farce

The air was unnaturally cold for early March, and the particularly severe winter had worn down the strength and the patience of many Wisconsin’s citizens. Spring seemed as far away now as it had actually been back in November when the snows fell and the elections had occurred. No one now expected much relief in the near future, and the fear of a prolonged season weighed too heavily on my soul. 
I sat hunched in the darkness on a chair in the relatively warm cabin I maintained behind the house as an office. A thermos of hot coffee sat on the floor beside me, and a bottle of whiskey rested on the desk. The blue lights of a computer airport glowed on a desk, but there was no other illumination anywhere; through the windows I could see blackness, as if someone had pulled dark shades down outside of the windows. I sat listening an expected break in the silence. I thought of the warm bed inside the house; I thought of my children awash in their dreams, and I thought of the people moving stealthily now through the woods towards my cabin. I pulled my arms tighter around by chest and hunched over just a bit more; I wasn’t really as cold as I was frightened. 
The assault on basic human rights begun by the present government endangered not only myself and my colleagues, but threatened the future world into which my children would grow. I feared they would not flourish. By fiat he and his hired help were attempting to again rob from the poor to pay the rich. Without missing a meal they were trying to ensure that the tables of the majority of Wisconsin citizens be less full. They were insisting that the quality of health, education and welfare suffer enormous declines in quality all the time claiming that they were saving the future by destroying the present. They dissembled. And to effect their purposes they had threatened the use of military force and dictatorial prerogative to force their opponents into submission. I hated them. 
Then I heard the noise I had come out here in the dark and cold to hear. Footsteps crunched on the newly-fallen snow in the darkness of the moonless light. It was not a steady sound, but a studied irregular stepping that disturbed the silence. The walkers were moving stealthily and cautiously, trying not to disturb too much the silence of the night. The noise had come from the south and so I knew that it was my expected visitors. 
I lit a candle in the most eastern window and another at the western door and I waited. Shortly two men dressed in dark overcoats and faces covered by scarves and dark stocking caps appeared suddenly before me and I opened the door to the cold and the fugitives.  They entered from the dark and were as two shadows. They nodded their head in greeting, and I helped the first remove his coat. The second had already taken off his outerwear and dropped them on the floor by the door. Wordlessly, I ushered the two to chairs and poured coffee into mugs and handed them to the men. They held the hot liquid in both of their hands and sipped eagerly. When they had finished, I held up the bottle of whiskey, but both shook their heads and refused. They still had miles to go. 
They lay down and for an hour they slept on the floor of the cabin while I watched the dark out of my windows. I awoke them on schedule. They drank another cup of coffee, put on their coats, scarves and hats, and went back silently out into the night. We had spoken very few words, but we had communicated well. I was a middle stop on the underground railroad, and this Wisconsin Democrat Assembly person was being conducted to freedom in Michigan.


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