The silence is thick, deafening. You got a voice-box and a heartbeat, right? You gotta have at least a teaspoonful of empathy in you somewhere, or were they fresh out when you got pushed out the factory? There's only so much injustice you can ignore. There are only so many times you can keep your head down before people are going to assume that you ain't ever standing up for nothing.
Seems real sad. Seems empty.
I may be full of frustration and a little anger, but I'm in here swinging with my heart, man. I'm not making safe decisions and watching my stock options.
I see you there with your safe thirty-year career plan and your compromises. I hope the bonuses buy some of your soul back, if you had one to start with. I hope the new car distracts you from the vacuum in your chest. I hope your kids call you out when they get old enough to see what a hypocritical, safe, clown you are.
You think you're polite, and that's the funniest part. You excuse your cowardice by keeping up appearances.
Hitler depended on people like you, and Trump does, too.
I love this with all of my soft, aching heart.ReplyDelete
Powerful and honest. I wonder what it's like to go through life with a life plan. I think I wander without a map!Delete
The Council, Transition EditionReplyDelete
Earl’s nephew had managed to keep the place open—thanks to several anonymous benefactors—but Forty-four knew that with the loss of his dear old friend to the coronavirus, the bar would never be the same. Earl’s nephew Kevin was a fine young man, with a good head for business, but the neighborhood was inching its way upscale. Although Kev had promised to always keep his favorite beer in stock, Forty-four was certain that once things started opening again, he wouldn’t recognize half the menu, and it might not even be called “Earl’s” anymore. That’s just the way of change, he thought with a sigh. He set his frosty draft on a ratty coaster, leaned back in his chair, and stretched his long legs in front of him while he waited for the others to get settled.
But he wasn’t alone at the table. Since the future Forty-six had already been to Council meetings as a guest—Forty-four loved saying that, Forty-six—he could hardly keep the group a secret from him. “Call it an enhancement to your transition team,” Forty-four had said. “You’re always welcome.”
“Hey, Forty-four-and-a-half,” Joe said into his own laptop. Nothing. “Hillary!”
“Her mute’s on,” Forty-two said, laughing. “She still can’t get the hang of that. Hey, Hill,” he yelled to his left. “Press the button with the little microphone.” Her answer couldn’t be repeated in front of children.
When they were all on line—Thirty-nine from Georgia, Forty-three from the art studio at his ranch, Forty-two from his study down the hall from Hillary’s—the Texan was the first to speak, his mouth a crooked grin. “Well,” he said. “That was an easy four years.”
“Tell me about it,” Joe said. “Some weird shit indeed.”
“Unfortunately, it’s not over yet,” Forty-four said.
“But it will be soon!” Forty-four-and-a-half said. “Lame duck a l’orange!”
Joe leaned toward him. “Is she drunk?”
“Can you blame her?” Forty-four responded, then addressed the team. “If we can just all focus for a second on the business at hand. Yes, there’s cause for celebration but there’s a lot of work to do.”
Finally they got down to his agenda. Plans were discussed for aid with vaccine distribution, youth volunteer initiatives, and all the things Forty-four hoped they could offer, as senior statespeople, before fate took a hard right and set them on defense. Then, Forty-four lifted his frosty draft in a toast to the future Forty-six. After just plain joe from Delaware thanked them, the gentleman from Georgia asked to be recognized.
“Before we move on to unofficial business, may I add an item to our agenda?” Thirty-nine said. “Regarding the Council status of our soon-to-be outgoing president?”
Forty-three interrupted. “Yes, please. All in favor of not extending the usual invitation say aye.”
There were no objections.
No objections indeed. Eyes forward. A heartfelt piece written in the present tense and days of future past. Days where heartfelt gestures were/are embraced. Now from the recommended distances, of course. But real embraces no nothing of time or space. Nicely done, Laurie.Delete
Cool. YOu get straight away that they're zooming or similar, and all over the place - are the numbers representative of the states? I like that they have numbers and not names. "We're just numbers." And that's a cool ending.Delete
IN THIS HOUSEReplyDelete
In this house we build upwards,
straight walls, balanced doors,
even brick-n-mortar, living
breathing plaster. Imagine spaces,
protect, warm. It all moves
as the seasons shift, feel its bones
twitch as the air cools down.
Sifting through attic boxes
we listen to the chimney sing
as the wind blows to the city.
Feel a pause, a glimpse of sky,
breadth of sea, expanse of light.
Inhale it in, breathe it out,
feel the presence of body,
open, connected, disconnect.
Leave patterns where they fall,
our yesterdays where they left.
Every little thing will come and go,
wash over you as you greet it.
Let the water drip to the dirt,
let time trickle on through.
These are the hands that see,
feel, hear, taste and know.