Ron Ridenour

About Ron Ridenour
Short stories



America The Greatest

[August 12, 2021]

Hate filled eyes stare at me. Does he not like the way I look? Is it because I'm telling a bar patron how awful the world we live in is?

All this hatred spewing forth like the sweat dripping from armed, fanatic patriots training to fight the omnipresent enemy, making and keeping America the Greates.

Tattooed muscle man, fists clenched, approaches. Arms at my side, I tell him:

You may not know, or wish to know, but you are a sick man. I, too, am sick. Yours and my illness intermix caught up as we are in this rat-racing raging world. We take different paths to compensate for our sickness from all the violence, the unending wars, epidemic hate, endemic greed, all rooted in fear…Yes, we both suffer.

You take the path of violence to combat violence. You will demonstrate your displeasure by beating me physically since I have nothing material to refrain you from using your powers over me.

I suggest another path. One that might cleanse some of your sickness, if only for a time. Take a trip to a quiet spot—a tropical beach, perhaps, or a cabin on a wonderful mountain surrounded by swaying trees.

Breathe in slowly sans smog. Let what you left behind stay there while you are present where you are. Smoke a joint if you like. Let the anger slip. Relax your muscles. Listen to your inner self. Learn from self. Teach self.

When you return to this part of the world and we meet again, we will embrace like old friends and drink a beer together.

Hate filled eyes widen over a wry smile on parched lips as I stare at him from the floor bleeding.

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