It’s the day after Christmas. It’s three in the morning. I’m in Cozumel in a five star hotel.
I'm on Fantasy Island. Here there is no crisis-no war, lay-offs, homelessness, grinding poverty, and unspeakable human indignities.
Here Santa Claus visits all the children, and doesn’t cruelly leave some behind. In three hours, I was transported from a violent snowstorm and below freezing temperatures, from daily reports of economic catastrophe and impending disaster, to a land of soft tropical breezes and unending sunshine, and a lifestyle fit for princes.
All it takes is money.
Wait a minute…I’ve never had much money…and now that Adam Smith is smirking from the grave, his Law of Value having been amply illuminated by the derivatives market, I will likely never have any again.
So how did I get here?
In the absence of my first coffee of the day, my initial thought is: I must have passed on: gone through the Pearly Gates. No... George Hewison, a life-long non-believer, has made it after all? Can’t be. THE Gates spoken of by evangelicals has Saint Peter at the check point.
Wait a second…I did pass two checkpoints on the highway from the airport obviously awaiting gate crashers. But these were patrolled by young army thugs, with automatic weapons casually at the ready to pump lethal amounts of metal into anyone not worthy of entrance.
I allow myself a momentary shudder. I think of my entire life on the other side of checkpoints, and weapons meant for me. But while this dark image lingers, other more pleasant pictures quickly overpower this disturbing scene.
The days are exquisite with beautiful music, pina coladas, mohitos, and margaritas, with pools, sand and beautiful people; but at night…
Oh-h-h the nights. At night, my sleep is troubled. I am visited by my family, friends and comrades long since gone…those who have loved me and I have loved…and their message-not stated but implicit-this place wasn’t good enough for them, so it can’t be good for me.
Their life was one of unrelenting struggle, decades of struggles so that all may enjoy a paradise on earth…until then, "George you don’t belong…I must never belong…"
I woke up, and my eyes were filled with tears!