this day

i parked at a meter a block away.

it was past five.

no need to feed the meter.

we held hands and walked to the dilly diner.

getting to hear her shoes on concrete helped me feel better.

but i kept spewing revolting frustrations that had been fermenting in my guts out into the open air.

eight hours at work on a computer.

at some point, i don’t know when or why, i looked at the news.

when she came home and saw me on the couch, she could tell something was wrong.

i said, ‘can we go out to eat?’

i opened the door for her saying, ‘i know that justice has to fall on these people.’

i walked in saying, ‘if there is a hell, i am sure they are going straight there.’

the hostess was at the stand, and my wife said, ‘two.’

the kids are lined up single file walking through the little camp.

we follow the hostess to our table.

amanda orders water.

i get coffee and water even though i’m already worked up.

this place has great chicken and waffles.

i’ve never ordered anything else.

we talk about it all.

do we trust the electoral process?

does he accept losing an election?

could he attack an american city?

are we powerless?

we tell the server what we want.

he lets us know we’ve made great choices as he writes our orders down.

is there anything we’d put past him?

especially after this?

we joke about pierce brosnan’s warning in dante’s peak.

pierce was so wise, but no one listened.

living in two worlds is disorienting.

i tell her i’m want to do a livestream youtube hunger-strike.

‘what we’re doing is wrong, and to live as if it’s all ok is wrong.

and i’d rather die,’ i say,

‘than live as if it’s all ok, when i know how wrong we are’

it’s very dramatic.

the server asks if i want a refill of coffee and water.

i say, ‘yes, please.’

‘your food will be right out.’

‘thank you.’

complete self-sacrifice is the only capital capable of overcoming this… mammon.

anything less is cheapened as ‘virtue-signalling’.

should one act against mammon–the politicians marching on the camps, for instance–they are criticized for ‘virtue-signalling.’

these people must want something as a result of  their actions.

votes, exposure, money, women, fame.

there can be no other explanation.

this is the final stage of capitalism: the total collapse of human potential as a result of a dreadful, crippling cynicism.

i look at amanda in her maroon dress.

she’s too wonderful for this world.

i say, ‘on the bright side i proposed a stunning fantasy baseball trade.’

our food comes out.

i pour sriracha honey and maple syrup all over my chicken and waffles.

slurping coffee and driving my bites into pools of syrup i plow through the meal.

we talk about possible train-car houses we might make one day.

she doesn’t finish her quesadilla, so i do.

‘it’s crazy though,’ she says.

‘what is?’

‘that it’s happening like it is.’

i didn’t expect her to come back to it.

‘and to think just last year, arguing over abortion felt extreme.’

the server comes back to us and i order a piece of french silk pie.

she eats a few bites.

i eat the rest.

the server brings the check.

my plastic money covers it and i sign the receipt.

getting up i feel my guts bulge.

i’m all swelled up again.

my guts are hurting from being so full.

but this time it’s in a different way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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learning

the teachers here in

oklahoma,

the teachers out there

in west virginia,

the teachers out west

in arizona

are showing

all of us what

we need to see.

the trillion dollar

machine

that grinds up hope

and buys up votes

and stalls all change

can’t drive over

self-sacrificing people.

the future is bright,

not because the right,

but because of those

who stand in the way.

complicit

i want to do something

about all this.

i want to be a part of the change

that needs to happen.

i want to walk away from my job,

as much as i love it,

and devote my life to

doing something

about all this.

i want to sleep on the ground

in washington.

i want to wake up next to you,

pour you a cup of coffee,

then hold your hand

and march.

i want to stand there,

proud.

not saying a word.

holding my fist in the air.

not leaving when they

tell me to.

i want them to kick my ass

because i wouldn’t listen.

because i was doing something

about all this.

i want to share a tent with

strangers.

i want to meet all the ones

like me.

normal people

who want to do something

about all this.

i want to stand with millions

on the capitol steps.

i want to never leave until

something has been done

about all this.

months and months like that.

living like slobs, and

wholly indecent people.

 

but i can’t walk away

from this.

i have a job.

they provide insurance.

i’ve got student loans.

 

if our credit rating

gets trashed, we won’t

ever own a home.

and maybe a baby will

find us someday soon.

i’ll have to work.

plus,

our house is comfortable.

and it might be cold in

washington.

the strangers might

smell bad,

or steal,

or kill me.

when i’m doing something

about all that.

 

i can’t risk it.

tonight i’m going to

eat at a real cool spot.

it’s a trendy banh-mi place

with green-haired cashiers.

i’m not afraid of them

because they’re kindly

taking my money.

 

we get along as we

share a moment

in exchange for getting

what we each want.

 

i will keep reading the news,

though.

hopefully someone does something

about all this.