Building a case with bricks
It’s the same thing every day. I’m getting older faster. Trump and the GOP are making me older faster. I can transcend this. I think it’s taking more action and doing less thinking. I was walking in the alley between my work and a Denver hotel yesterday and the bricks were stark. Something with the sun and the shade but the hotel’s bricks were shouting about their work. Yeah, impressive. These little blocks adding up to something bigger. And eventually a city. A country. Brick by brick. And I was heartened. My pace picked up. I had to get back to my computer. Sure, you’re another brick in the wall, but maybe that’s not a bad thing when you’re stopping a fucking tidal wave.
I got to my desk and started reading again. Reading and reading; monitoring democracy. I had this little fantasy that I had a megaphone to the world. I’m not sure my 1000 Twitter followers will do, so I thought about pressing the amplification and asking everyone to stop. Just stop. It’s not laziness and it’s not insolence. It’s the pause we need when something’s got a hold of us. Don’t panic, just cease for a moment. We’re stirring too much and this quagmire is going to swallow us whole. We’re exhaling too much. Too many sighs. Gasps. Carbon dioxide. Stop and hear the ice cracking. Stop and appreciate what we’ve got. I wondered just how much work could be done if we all paused for a moment.
My wife has said I need to take a break. My strong suits don’t come from getting angry about politics. I guess you’re typically not at your greatest when you’re getting devoured by an insatiable beast. It’s the upkeep on a democracy, I think, that should keep us vigilant. But it’s the distractions that wear us down. Sometimes I want to crush my phone and step into a cartoon world with perfect grass and just the right amount of sunshine. The kids would come running up, barely contained by their pencil-drawn borders, and I’d be so relieved that we didn’t have to worry anymore. I mean this presidency and its supporters have done one thing for me: I’m much less worried about nefarious suitors courting my daughter and my own boys on motorcycles. Those were old-timey concerns of a technicolor dreamworld.
I read this blogger the other day (Andrew Sullivan) who said we’ve already lost some of our freedom because can’t not think about the state of our nation. You should never take liberty for granted, but it was nice, not so long ago, when I at least felt we had the right stewards in place to maintain it. And as I used to say on stage just six months ago when the election was great comedy fodder: I’m not worried about Trump. I’m concerned about these motherfuckers who support him.
I’ll get back to that.
Sarah is engaged. She’s following the stories. Apparently, however, she’s strong enough not to have to air her grievances as soon as she sees me. Or maybe it’s that I don’t stop long enough to let her in. She leans against the counter, sometimes with wine, and nods as I lambaste the air around me with examples of blatant hypocrisy and perhaps even treason. WTF? Treachery? Are we pirates? How did this happen?
She sips her wine and smooths her hand along the counter. It’s a common parental move catching crumbs only we can see, but it’s also a bulldozer with a squeegee blade. Powerful in moving across our universe. A hand traversing the front end of time. Clearing a moment in her head. A swipe through the fog and a reset for what propels us: communication. It’s so easy amongst the likeminded.
“This is good wine,” I say, despite everyone in the room knowing that I wouldn’t know good wine. I tell that to Sarah and she shrugs into some consolation.
“Well, if you like it, it’s good.”
So back at the bricks. I’ve left my computer again. The irony of reading news about America’s workforce being distracted by news nearly broke my head. I need to get more done. I need to build something. A bridge? Too obvious. Besides, I can barely install shelves. Did I tell you about the time when I was leaning all of me into a drill and it slid off the head of the screw and into the sheet rock? Yeah, I was doing so well. I was so close to done. I just thought I’d reinforce a bit more. I grabbed a three-inch dagger and leaned into it’s destination. Well, science did it’s thing and two tiny points would rather go anywhere than where they’re being pressed together. The Philip’s head slid past the screw and the whirling, pointed Milwaukee bit did a ten-point dive right into the tender chalk of our bedroom wall. The bit opened a hole for the chuck and the chuck, encouraged by my girth fulcrumed over a ladder and gravity’s whim, followed into the wall. Eventually, much of the drill was nestled into our home’s fortification. For a while I just leaned there. My feet on the second rung and my sweaty head surrendered against the wall. The drill holding the rest of me up. I stared for a while at the paint texture. So weird that’s a thing; adding bumps to our lives.
So back to the people. I wonder how much of a motherfucker I am to them.
Politics is just process. It’s a blender that somehow separates us. These sharp attacks coming at us while we all reach for the same thing: security, liberty. A shot at the lottery. I won’t use any of that to sell you on my position. Unless you can help me fix this house. Then I’ll tell you anything you want to hear.