Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Chosen

"Texas mayor tells those not evacuated to write names, Social Security numbers on their arms....".  I felt a ripple of discomfort in my stomach while reading the newspaper and my mind's eye floated off to a different time, more than a decade ago, when I returned to the United States and saw people on rooftops of houses surrounded by water and a government that ignored them.

I watched Trump pardon Arpaio.  My mind travelled to a time I engaged in what was probably illegal activity in the name of social justice.  I watched as my partner in crime quietly pulled up his pant legs and began writing phone numbers in Sharpie on his shins.  I kept driving south, hoping his people would bail us both out of jail.

"Those that have not accepted Jesus into their hearts will not see Michael again!"  the pastor informed the crowd.  My niece sobbed heavily at my side.  Thank you, I thought, thank you for providing so much solace to those that have lost someone.

Someone smeared the Confederate monument close to where I work with shit.  I snickered when I read about it.

I stood outside, surrounded by fourth graders, staring at the sun. Countless mirrored faces pointed directly up.  A small nudge of moon was slowly traveling across the sun, making it look like some sort of Pacman.

Soon, it was completely obscured, save a slim, fire-orange smile at the bottom.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Glass Castle

"It's hot, right?"  I asked the little girl with the bedazzled glasses that I was walking to the bus.  She's new.
"Yeah....," she mumbled, glancing off, "but not as hot as Bangkok...."
"Are you a CARE kid?  CDC?"
"When did you move back?"
"A month ago."
"How long did you live there?"
"Six years."
Wow.  She probably only remembers there.  Not here.
"Gosh, that's huge.  You know, I've been to Thailand before.  Not as long as you, what was your favorite thing you saw?  I'm sure it's hard to pick."
She seemed to not hear me, and then described in detail a famous temple complex, growing animated as she explained the sensations of it.
"So, here's your bus.  What's your name?"
"Mercy." she answered.
"Nice to meet you, I'll see you around, okay?"
She didn't answer, just stared at the group of kids waiting to get on the bus.  I hovered, looking at the little round girl in the spangly clothes that her parents bought, probably hoping she'd fit in.  I watched her staring at the kids from the outside, unsure or unwilling to step into the mix.

I moved from Michigan to Georgia when I was in fourth grade and it was one of the hardest experiences of my life.  Part of me wanted to be her new best friend, though I knew she needed to be friends with kids, not a forty-five year old woman.  

My step-father died this morning.  Everything feels very twilight and confused.  I don't have anything more to say about that right now.