I stumbled upon my friends Steve and Allen as they were having a two person political rally which is to say they were having a fine time discussing political issues that they were in complete agreement on. Catching sight of me, Steve said, "Yeah, Keith knows what I'm saying." inviting me to increase the size of the rally by one third. This is how movements start. But before we could launch the next Tea Party, (with slightly more creative signs I'd hope) Allen informed his pal that "Keith loves the state."
I replied with a laugh that the state and I had a love/hate relationship but his comment stayed with me through the week as day after day I woke up in my warm apartment, ate food that was plentiful and safe, went to my job that requires 40 hours of my time each week in exchange for health coverage and enough money to afford for me and my small family the aforementioned food, apartment, heat and some extras like a car with insurance, a computer connected to the internet, the occasional meal out and the resources to pursue my dream of finding another, more creative line of work. Most notably nobody tried to shoot me or my family. Nobody stopped me from expressing my views on religion and politics. I went about living my life fairly unobstructed.
I have always enjoyed these privileges and freedoms and so it's easy not to appreciate them, but when I look at the history of the world and even the present state of much of the world I am incredibly happy to have the life I have and even a bit ashamed at sometimes taking it for granted. The state seems to work pretty well for me, so yeah, I guess I love the state.
Now, I'm not one for idiotic, slobbering blind love. My girlfriend, the state, she's good to me but there is certainly room to improve this relationship and sometimes I get so frustrated I start thinking we might need relationship counseling. She tells me I can't smoke marijuana, or even just sit on the sidewalk and play my guitar. I don't want to do either of those things, but who the hell is she to tell me I can't? And more frustrating she doesn't allow my gay friends to get married. Of course there was a time not long ago when she wouldn't have permitted me to marry someone of a different race. There was a period when I couldn't express my socialist leanings without serious repercussions. But she continues to grow and change so I try to be patient and to work with her.
We have an open relationship, the state and I. I don't stay with her because of any ring on my finger or pledge. Everyday my love is earned anew. And some of the other folks she dates, well, they're pretty kinky. They encourage her more violent tendencies or they try to keep all her affections just for themselves. This may be the breaking point for us but I try to show her how nice we can have it if we just keep progressing the way that we, slowly, with many setbacks, have progressed. In fact I try to show them too, and sometimes we sit and we talk, her other lovers and I. Sometimes her other boyfriends or girlfriends have ideas that I like and I change too. Often times people won't listen but more often than not their children listen better.
It's not perfect, she's not perfect, I'm not perfect, but we've come quite a long way and I'm proud of us and we're happy together a great deal of the time.
So yes, I love the state with as mature, nurturing and responsible a love as I can manage.