Give me something. Give me hope. Give me remembrance. There is still a sanctuary in the madness. Covert and underlying love is still breathing fire. Mass moments boiling over and water is hissing on the stove. We are in movement. People breach the banks of our new social normal. They splatter in unison against the shore.
My own hurricane thunders in its fury. Only to retreat back out to sea. A hurricane can only swirl and force its will for so long. Category 5, 4, 3, 2, and finally we reach 1. Exhausted droplets of rain are all there is left at times inside of me.
I lay down on a turquoise quilt as Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse blares in the background. Toodles solving today’s unsolvable problems. I lay my head down under a child’s chin. He relaxes his head on my forehead. His youth unaware of the broadcast breaking news.
I’m so sorry. My child, I thought we were better. Getting better. I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t know at what point the pendulum swung back. We reached the height of political correctness. Yet, I didn’t think we’d swing 54 years back in time.
My mind repeats these words audibly in my head. Constant apologizing for things he doesn’t know is happening. Children grow. They become aware. They know. I can’t hide the truth of how the world will be shaped over the next 10 years. I can’t hide the faults and agendas. I can’t lower my voice to a whisper and say, “Shhh, child. It’ not your concern.” Each second the clock is moving forward, we are waking up to a dismantling of everything we once knew.
Do you remember how it used to be?
I do. I remember days without fear and panic. Days where immigrants weren’t being searched for “papers.” I remember not asking my husband, “What do we do?” His answer is always the same:
“I’m taking the To Kill A Mockingbird approach. Now is not the time to worry.”
I lay awake. I worry. I understand anxiety stems from living too much in the future. My constant enemy, my forever foe, my constant need to harness always being “prepared.” I can’t prepare myself for tomorrow. When will we worry? When is the appropriate time designated to wonder what world our children will inherit?
I keep retreating back to the ocean, memories by the sea. He ran joyfully. This is my happy place. This is the corner of my mind I will not surrender. He screamed and ran with the shrillest voice. He ran hard into the water with no fear. He ran in circles across the Sullivan’s Island sand. No one can remove his joy from my heart. No one can remove the innocence at seeing something vast and without end for the first time in their life. This is mine.
He will run with joy. As he has done every year since his birth. No matter what America they create. It will not steal our children’s future. Because we’re angry, boiling over. Searing the stove with our scalding hot tempers. WE ARE BETTER. WE KNOW BETTER. WE’VE WORKED TOO DAMN HARD TO STOP NOW.
We’ve survived terrorist attacks.
We’ve survived the housing market crashing. BOOM. BAILOUT.
There wasn’t a bailout for the working folk. No, sir.
We JUST SURVIVED.
We lived on the Health Savings Accounts, and couldn’t afford to be sick. To see a doctor.
Yet, we made our future. We won’t let theirs be robbed.
Thieves in the night, vomiting what my friend calls White Trash Rhetoric. That’s how they showed up at our front door. Cloaked in so-called patriotism. Smothered in smug satisfaction discounting everything given to them. Angry. Name slinging.
“Snowflake.” Is this a reference to Animal Farm? Because he defied Napoleon. Or do you even know what Snowflake means? I doubt you do. If so, then “I’m your Snowflake.”
There is a fight mechanism triggered. I think perhaps some people have never had to fight. Never knew the other side of belt, never been slapped unconscious. Never had to stand up for themselves. Never know what a fists really feels like across the cheekbone. Or how both eyes will go black if punched in exactly the right spot in the nose. They dream of their glory days where they can take on the ‘big bad wolves’, all this time not realizing they are only sheep in wolves’ clothing.
Have you any wool? No.
It’s been sheared and skinned and I can see your bones. Starving sheep.
But no longer can I allow these sheep to steal the moments I have. Not today. Not tomorrow. There is happiness around me. Gathering reasons to resist. Every morning, I wake up and look at my reason. I walk by my reasons at a preschool. I see my reasons sliding down a metallic slicky-slide. I see reasons as parents push their kids on the swings at the park. I see reasons everywhere I turn.
I lay my head down and I beg for forgiveness as youth rests his head on mine. He doesn’t even know what I’m sorry for..