As I sit here enjoying the benefits bequeathed unto me from a first world birth I cannot help but feel something is wrong. Something big is moving in the shadows, just beyond the yellow haze of the back yard spotlights, a pair of eyes glow, no pupils, and teeth, teeth climbing the jagged upward curl of what could only be called an overconfident snarl… I can feel it, just outside the blue-green glow of the LCD universe here in middle America, just pulling at the cords, the sound of its fingers sliding and creaking as they close; somewhere I hear dripping sounds. It wants so dearly to pull those thin ethernet cables, to bend them over like a garden hose and stop the cascading ones and zeros; if it could only control the flow it could stop the little thing in my mind from feeding, the little thing that knows its there, it could finally kill it.
Something is there, I know you feel it too, everyone does. You feel it when the perfectly manicured face on the screen tells you everything is OK, you feel it when you read about massive censorship bills passing through the government, slaughters abroad, and massive tax exemptions for mega corporations too big to fail. Yet on the nightly news, nothing, nothing but the glassy eyed stares with too few blinks as the teleprompters are read, scripted and spun they are sending but no one is receiving…
I feel it every time I see two men kiss, I feel it when I see the reflection of the camera in their eyes as they turn and smile, the shadow growing over their happiness, fears baked in an air of those who would destroy everything that makes their life worth living. I feel it every time I pull open a drawer in a hotel, the burnt offerings, blood sacrifices, and infinite jealousy bleeding from the Gideons film thin pages onto the spotted carpet, stained from years of sin, sins of the believers when they couldn’t push the smile in the darkness away for one more night.
I feel it every time I think “who is speaking for me” who represents me and those like me, basking in our tiny vote, at once a significant tally yet at the same time all but ignored. The mark that makes us an unbelieving part of a system increasingly blurry in the distance as it grows taller and taller, further and further from the people who check that box… The inescapable choice between my jailer and my executioner for a choice of two evils reeks of its perfume…
“A chrissstian nation” the teeth hiss,
“Run by a nation of chrissstian people”
“yourrr equality isss limited, limited by the limitlesss majority for they sssay what I tell them” the cheeks crinkle as the grin grows impossibly further
“They think I left them in the garden but I’ve alwaysss been with them, from humble beginningsss”
The sounds of something receding direct my attention to a small fire, a single page brown with age, curled at the edges with fire, ashes float upwards towards the blackened sky, my eyes follow the smoke downward, stopping at the top of the page… slowly reading the burning paper left behind, I mouth the words slowly, silently. “We The People…”