Arthur Miller would never have married Marilyn Monroe if he had titled his book, “Nervous Breakdown of a Salesman,” but that is how I discovered how life is all about Race, Religion, Politics, Sex and Money. I asked to be a salesman because I needed Money and like asking a bank, if you need it don’t ask.
After I was fired the first time I joined 40+, listed my ten life accomplishments, practiced interviewing and got another chance to hear, “I hate to let you go.” When my demonic boss convinced me to get on my knees and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I knew my childhood confusion about religion had caught up with me.
Life is all about Race, Religion, Politics, Sex and Money. Growing up on Mooney Avenue as a Christian Scientist in a fifty-fifty neighborhood of Catholics and Protestants, religion, not race, politics, sex and money was my problem. At Walnut Hills High School, one third Jew, one third Black, one third White I still didn’t feel like I fit in and week-daily retreated to Mooney Avenue as soon as the last bell rang. My first three years at the University of Cincinnati I drove, instead of taking the bus, but the routine was the same get home as soon as my last class ended.
Twenty-one was my personal emancipation year – voted for Goldwater, joined Sigma Chi Fraternity, moved into the fraternity house, graduated from Sunday school, got drunk, wrecked my ’63 Corvette Stingray, took my first aspirin and left my celibate ‘emotional geek’ lifestyle for the greener hedonist streets beyond Mooney Avenue.
Graduated with a B.S. of Architecture, magnum cum ‘skin of my teeth,’ joined the US Marine Corps for three years of ‘man-up’ training, voted for George Wallace, married an adult child of alcoholic German-Catholic parents and moved to nove-cuatro-nove, Avenida Higeninoplis, Sao Paulo, Brasil. A year after our arrival, Jimmy Carter, sent Roslyn and a Black guy from the State Department to preach human rights to Latin America’s dictator leaders, giving me my first glimpse of race, religion, politics, sex and money in action overseas.
The money part I learned the hard way, while my engineer co-workers lived within their means my ACAP partner and I augmented my salary with loans from nine different banks. Three years later the jig was up and I returned to Christian Science to save my fiscal ass. It didn’t work so I tried attaching an EMBA to my CV and pursuing a sales career which premeditated my mid-life crash.
My second marriage alleviated my Money and Sex worries so that I could move on to Race and Politics. In my sophomore ‘widower’ year, I traveled to Eugene, Oregon where they know nothing of Race and everything “off the wall” about Politics. The “Ducks” swim on the most politically active college campus in America, Obama visited three times in his 2008 campaign. Obama memorabilia accounts for one third of the city’s GDP, logging reparations and coffee bars make up the remainder. If I’m not mistaken, Obama was the first Black man to visit Oregon.
However, my hedonist underbelly soon relieved me of all the money I brought from Texas and I was forced to run away to China to make ends meet. After four years of whistling past the ATM machine, my ‘higher power’ took pity on me by sending a thrifty hedonist marriage partner. Our combined 12 years of teaching ESL in China has proven to be our only marketable life skill, and so it is. Our expat lifestyle has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt, that life outside the US is hedonist heaven. But even in heaven it’s still all about Race, Religion, Politics, Sex and Money.
Our landlord says we are living at Hasim Iscan Mah. 1307 Sok. Muratpasa/Antalya, Turkey 07100, but little does he know that Jane’s still at 1506 Muscatine Avenue in Iowa City and I never left 3531 Mooney. I wonder what the Turks think about Race, Religion, Politics, Sex and Money? We’ll soon find out. firstname.lastname@example.org