A Silent Protest
If you don’t know me by now —
Standing up tall, finding your depth.
Me sigue ? O no me sigues todavía ?
Every time that Spotify advertises, I take an opportunity to come back to my breath. Ha. I jest. But if not my breath, at least the present moment. At least awareness that there is life existing outside of my flow, just as I look outside the window at the world around me, outside out my heart and in my head, in which there are leaves in trees blowing shades of lime green.
It is interesting to listen to them take different approaches to advertisement, attempting to see what a person will respond to, or else be annoyed by, which makes them take action eventually. I am committed to holding my ground, giving up fluidity for forced meditation. Coming back to the moment, the present moment, even if the cause is annoyance.
This is how an oyster makes a pearl, is it not? Attention to that which is bothering it.
If that is so, I am face to face with myself at ten years old right now. Christian summer camp. Hopelessly hopeful. Uncool. Alienated without realizing it. Or else, realizing something like that, already deep within. A feeling of stark difference, in the midst of surface connection.
How many of us battle with self-hate, in constant combat with self-love. All these different versions of ourselves, all our expressions and coping mechanisms and successes and failures. Disappointments and expectations. Hopelessly hopeful.
Hope happened here.
It is still happening on a regular basis, even if hope is as audacious as last year. I shift through the days like menus in a fashionable fusion kitchen, entirely dependent upon whatever leftovers are crowding the refrigerator and the reflection of my own life that presents. Today it is burritos with homemade salsa. Perhaps on Sunday it will be pierogis made from the sauerkraut that is going soft, and borscht from those four beautiful beets in the crisper. Something about these things keeps me grounded, and only as an afterthought, well-nourished.
The Governor enters stage left.
“We all say change change change, but the status quo lingers.”
Ebbing and swelling, the shifting subjects of conversation.
You may have been exposed.
Please keep your distance —
I watch as you push my grandfather to the ground.
He hits the back of his head, starts bleeding out of his ear.
That was disgusting.
18 rounds, shot into a barbecue stand. A man dies.
Why do all these people have guns?
“I want something that means something to you.”
He’s going to give Michaela his watch. It was given to him by his father.
We stand in solidarity with the senselessness.
We need to have an honest dialogue about this continuing sin. This is not a one-sentence solution.
Who’s right, who’s wrong? (It doesn’t work that way)
You wouldn’t dare.
The overall dynamic, the electricity in the air. Demonization. Fear of attack.
“I have no politics. I’m not running for President. I’m not going anywhere.”
How do I deal with it, the Governor asks? I just tell people what I think.
She’s asking about Police Bludgeoning Peaceful Protesters With Batons.
A question can also be offensive, says the Governor. Then he says, No such thing happened. Even though perhaps it had. Even though it did, and we all saw it.
Did you hear anything we have been talking about for the last 96 days? It’s about death.
Balancing the desire and wants, versus the consequence.
The Governor seems particularly annoyed at the reporters today, especially Bernadette, who seems to have a tendency to politicize things unnecessarily.
The law is the law. The police have to enforce the law.
(The Governor’s patience is growing thinner, in correlation to his charisma.)
Our story appears to be coming to its natural end, when we become compelled to find new heroes, perhaps those that already lie in wait within. We shall see what happens to the numbers, what presents itself as fact in the week to come, after the mass exposures, after the incubation period. Then we will have to accept, look forward, move on. Return to our individual New Normals, without the company of the Governor or the Press.
It feels like we have already revealed the hero’s hamartia, the missed mark, their fatal flaw. And yet it is as if we overlooked it somehow. It bled into the background. Disguised itself.
The rains come and after some hours the back room smells humid in a comforting way. Tomorrow or the day after there will be sun, and wind, and the open windows will circulate. By choosing to focus on the facts and figures, could we have missed something? Did you read between the lines as well? Could you see the pictures?
Suddenly it feels over, and not by choice.
There is no happy ending here, just anarchy and chaos, a picture of an apocalypse going up in flames, America front and center like always.
Is it over?
We moved into overtime only to end up in a stalemate?
But that is how it always was.
We knew it would be this way.
Fill in the blank.
<Shooting blanks into a crowd, waiting for it to scatter>