I have seen the American Dream. It lives in Tracy, California and reeks of manure and Axe Body Spray, and bolts down energy drinks chased with Bud Light Lime. It drives an oversized truck with glitzy rims, and spies on its neighbors from a souped-up catbird seat of fear and intimidation. It is colloquialisms and God & Country and fast-food drive-thru speak and a beautiful dyed-blonde girl with a nose ring serving Pho at a Shopping-Center restaurant with a 7–11 smile. It’s a snapped blurt of an emoji sent and deleted before the commercial break’s over. It is stalled traffic backed up for miles on a freeway choking the commuter sky with smog. It’s a city of box stores and chains and the same model home built over and over, obliterating the horizon beyond sight. It votes with its gut instead of its brains— knee-jerk to the last testament, guns drawn, and its faith is only good for about one day a week. There are murdered birds in its brand-name accomplishments and its stowed away billions that nobody will ever touch. Its condo towers sit gleaming and empty, blocking out the sky. Pose with power. Remain neutral. Get a job. A trailer park for your thoughts? You can call it up if you’d like: (646) 851–0347.

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