November 17

KathrynHolidaySucks

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“Are you in these private groups where KathrynHolidaySucks is trending?”

Blunt. Simple. To the point. My first conversation with Kathryn ever was her asking if I participated in groups that were attacking her.

Kathryn is a Trump supporter. I would go as far as to say she is a devotee. Because of it, she has been labeled a bigot and attacked again and again by fellow bloggers.

I will clear the air right now. I voted for Hillary. I campaigned, rather openly, against Trump. I am more disenfranchised Bernie kid than Clinton supporter. I felt the best chance for a continuation of progressive policies was through a democrat-ran White House. Those were my reasons. I felt the country would simply be in better hands with Clinton. I still think so.

The fact is, that isn’t going to happen. For the next four years we will be under a republican reign with Trump leading the way. Do I know what it will bring? Nope. Am I hopeful of it being what ‘Makes America Great Again’? Not really.

But, this isn’t about political affiliations. Well, I guess it is all about them actually. Because Kathryn reached out to me due to the fact that I was, in her words, left-leaning.

I am not a part of these groups where KathrynHolidaySucks is trending. I wouldn’t care to be a part of them, either.

I have been in my fair share of blogger groups. For awhile, I ran one I became rather proud of. These days, I tend to shy away from them. Drama, gossiping and public-shaming is best left to high school and fantasy football. It just isn’t my thing anymore, if it ever was.

The problem we left-leaners have created for ourselves is an inability to have civil discourse. We write off others for their opinions and beliefs, holding our own opinions in such high regard we dare not risk having them shaken by dialogue.

The echo chamber is real folks.

In a post-election world, it is time to grit teeth and extend hands across aisles. In the Catholic Church, there is a moment during mass where you shake hands or hug those around you while wishing them peace.

“Peace be with you.” The words burn coming out, as I hug an in law. It isn’t an enjoyable experience, yet it is an important one. It is a reminder that although we may never see eye to eye, in this world we are forever connected. Through children and loved ones. And for their sake, we wish one another peace.

Kathryn Holiday and I don’t agree on a lot of things. When I catch her in my newsfeed, often times I shake my head at her views of the world. But, I continue to keep her in my newsfeed.

Why?

Because it is important to see opposing views. It’s important to surround yourself with people who disagree with you.

It’s important to try to understand one another. Maybe even respect one another. Because we all have loved ones and children in this game.

As adults, we are supposed to be above this sort of stuff. Facebook isn’t your personal burn book to trash other people’s names. It’s disturbing and disappointing.

Kathryn Holiday is my friend. Maybe more because the things we disagree on than the things we see the same way.

From my time in the blogosphere, I have seen how nasty it is. People take and hashtag your life struggles for personal enjoyment. They mock you in their little corners, acting holier than thou. I have been a part of it. I didn’t like it then. I didn’t like it when I left all the blogger groups I was in and watched people suddenly disappear from my notifications.

I didn’t like being told I shouldn’t have left a group, before a friendship was clearly ended.

Make no mistake. I have been a part of it. I once told one blogger to cut another blogger’s hair. I said it jokingly. It didn’t make it right. To those ends, I am sorry.

I think we sometimes get so caught up in our opinions and views, comfortable in our surroundings, and begin to become a lot of Mean Girls. I will be honest, I would rather associate with a Trump supporter than a pretentious bitch any day.

And the use of the word ‘bitch’ here isn’t because blogging is a predominantly female world. When I joked my friend should cut another blogger’s hair, I was being a bitch myself.

Kathryn Holiday is my friend. Chances are you are my friend, too.

There’s no place for this bullshit in adulthood. Between bills and babies, you’d think there wasn’t any room for bitchiness.

I’ve been wrong before. Like when I thought Clinton was a pantsuit away from the presidency. It still hurts. It’s too soon.

When they go low, we go high, right?

If Kathryn is reading this, Steve Bannon can suck a bag of dicks. You’re cool though.

 

You can read Kathryn here. She is a very good writer. 

November 16

Effigy

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I split wood for the fire. Tonight will be a bonfire.  

We are burning ourselves in effigy. 

I have soaked my insides in flammables. One hundred proof as I step barefoot on the pyre. ‘Don’t forget me’ the words mouthed softly into the night to no one in particular. 

Don’t forget me. 

The words freeze in the air like silent scream. I close my eyes, in hopes of opening them and finding this is but a dream. 

There’s no waking up tonight. 

*****

At the height of my young adult adolescence, I swallowed a handful of Klonopin and chased it with beer after beer. I don’t remember much from the night, random cups being raised to lips and projectile vomiting around a room. When I came to, I had lit ablaze half a dozen friendships. Laughing, I reached for a half-empty cup of beer and washed the bile back down my throat.

I ripped through a few years of my teens like a bong, fancying myself a Mr. Goodtime. For the most part I was. The problem is, for every good time there was, I surely felt the drop. Like a slow-dripping in an empty tin, the lack of moral fiber made a loud *clank* as the drop hit my hollow home.

I read years later about people dying from drinking. It wasn’t just Amy Winehouse. It was Ashley, who had babies at home. She drank herself to death one night, leaving two kids without a mom.

It struck a chord with me. Not because she and I were close. We had made-out a few times, texted a few times and never got around to being anything more than drunk and horny at the same parties. After I began to dry out from the copious amounts of drugs and booze, I guess she didn’t.

It reminded me how close to death we lived back in the day.

There was the time Sean swore I smoked crack with him. After chasing a Xanax bar with beer after beer, I woke up dazed and confused, unsure of how long I had been out. As I emerged from room, people shouted, “You’re alive!”

One day I will inevitably have to sit my children down to give them the drugs are bad speech. I don’t know how fire and brimstone it will be. There will be know “IF you do drugs, you will get addicted and start sucking dick for them until you die in a desolate hole and kill your mother with a broken heart.”

It also probably won’t be “Drugs are bad, but really, REALLY, fun.”

I don’t know the first step in educating my children about drugs. I know I did my fair share.

Maybe I will tell them for every night I survived, someone else died. That’s how it feels sometimes.

Ashley wasn’t the only one who died. Sean overdosed a few times. He had a few friends die. I saw an old roommates face show up in the local paper for selling H to the kids. Fucking junkie, selling the same shit that he once told me made him hate himself. He might not have died to anyone but me, but he’s long gone may he not rest in peace.

I drove drunk and smashed the car. Cam drove drunk and never got to graduate high school.

It isn’t enough surviving yourself.

I toss the word ‘addict’ around on my tongue, testing out it’s textures. I still don’t have the appetite to swallow it. It doesn’t feel like a word for those who survive themselves.

Some get to where I am in twelve steps. It took me a mile.

It always felt like just a phase to me. For some, it was life. We weren’t having a good time. We were trying to die.

Burning ourselves in effigy.

November 15

Pardon Me While I Burst

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I stand in line for pardon, begging to be forgiven for past sins. As I meekly approach the hour of judgement, at the slow pace of twenty-five to life, I wonder what the executioner has in store for me. If there was a witch in the middle of the woods, who could tell me how it ends, would I seek her out?

My friends and I explored the woods many days in my youth, as darkness creeped into the sky. We never found her cabin, but I found some peace of mind. In the stillness on the trails, I gently winded through what seemed like endless thoughts. Past swamps, I wondered if I would ever be a man I was hoping to be?

Would I settle down or chase beatnik Kerouac dreams? My soul is wandering and old. It is not destined for any one location, but a sailor sojourning through the sea. As I laid my head down at night, I found the oceans of the depths of my mind. Ever expanding horizons to conquer. From land, to sky, I traveled across synapses hoping to find a place to call home.

To sleep perchance to dream. I am recycling lines. Both others and mine. My soul appropriates as it grows ever older, wandering and wondering if it will ever find a home. When walking through the stillness wasn’t working, I found myself pulling shoes from feet, to walk barefoot. I needed to feel. Anything. Even the pain of thorn in the balls of your feet is something to keep you grounded. Keep you present. To keep you from brambling through the thickets of your brain.

I ask the Good Lord to wash my feet. I ask for judgement, but demand to be free. I am not looking for God, I am looking for a witch in the woods to tell me my lot in life. To cast bones and rattle chains. To show me my colored strand in the fabric of this place. To show me where the shears will decide my fate.

I stand in line because I see others doing so. Asking for penance is not my style. I am fire and brimstone. A heretic of the modern worlds. As they preach for peace, I can be found like the snake in the Garden of Eden.

“Let it burn” I hiss.

Let it burn. I am not of this world. To me, they are the aliens. Abject in thoughts. Minds sickened, subconscious drunk on reality tv.

“Let it burn” I begin to chat. “Burn it to the ground.” 

I miss the days searching the woods. Before technological chains kept us inside. I miss the Kerouac dreams I keep recycling when I write.

A longing for a cup of coffee and wayward skies.

I turn the volume on the music up, little by little. I will drown my thoughts tonight. I don’t want to explore tonight lest I drown. In thoughts of lighting this world on fire and laughing as it burns down. I am no longer gently winding, the waters are choppy and I begin to move faster and faster.

Faster.

FASTER.

At a frenetic pace, I am crashing through the woods. Wildlife startled, I am searching for the witch.

“When will I be free of this mind!” I scream.

Laughter, soft and sinister. I am past the caveats and closer to danger.

“WHEN WILL I BE FREE OF THIS LIFE?” I bellow!

Somebody sedates me. I sip the rotgut and begin to slow my pace. I sip the fire water and slowly I fill fine. I am pulled from the woods, given proper shower and shave. Someone’s hand on my back, I am gently moved forward. I stare with dead eyes, asking to be saved.

November 15

Beauty

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I contend I may never be a beautiful writer. The one who has words dancing along the screen. Awe-inspiring, like ballet dancer pirouetting through my mind. My words are stripped, naked and raw, for inspection and reflection. Bits of myself, unapologetic and open.

I fear I may never find an alleyway tucked between busy streets. An escape plan and a cup of coffee. The bustle moving around; I will forever be pulled with the crowd. Even if it is kicking and screaming, I may never find that quiet-tucked-in-alleyway home.

My mind percolates as the coffee brews. It takes me to the edges of despair. Babe, I ain’t gone over yet. I stare out over cliff, dangling one foot and hoping a gust of wind doesn’t sweep me to my demise.

Babe, it ain’t killed me yet. 

My essential oils are the smells of fire and chemical reactions. Nicotine, creating emphysema halos above heads on a late night. Lips dipped in whiskey and slow tunes to set the mood. I want to out smoke, out drink, and out shine the moon. Chasing the stars from the sky as cups spill over; drowning out the night.

I want words to make you fall in love. A spell-wrapped stanza, quivering as it drips. A shiver as I crawl in. Inside you. Down your spine. Causing goosebumps up your sides and down your arms. I want to be the tragic quote, causing star-crossed lovers to fall into one another’s arms.

Kiss and dance. Spin her round and lift him up. Do your stuff, Love, do your stuff.

Long have I been a prisoner of my mind. I lay shackled to a long lost romanticism of words. Voracious is my appetite. For those who don’t know, it means I always want more. I am hungry for love and lust, as Shakespearean thoughts spin tragedy into love.

It’s tragic in this mind, but I call it home.

I try to blood let my thoughts. There are pieces of paper hidden around this home, with words scrawled, barely legible, as I let it out a little at a time. I am not filled with books, I am filled with time. And tales. And meter.

And rhyme.

I am the songwriter who couldn’t sing, putting simple heartache to chord. There is no music, but you should be listening for the verse.

I carry my pain simply, like Johnny Cash singing Hurt.

I would go as far as to say I am the Man in Black of words, burning in a ring of fire. The world needs beauty, but that will never be me. I am bare naked in my words and the scars catch the light. If breakdown is your beauty, then maybe I am your guy.

As the coffee percolates my thoughts, the ballet dancer begins to pirouette through time.

November 15

Tomorrow’s World

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As blood poured down my face, I activated the camera on my phone and snapped a picture. Being kicked in the face had it’s perks.

Only moments before, I was on the ground letting out an ugly howl/shriek/cry as I clutched my face. By the lightning pain shooting through my face, I could tell my nose was broken. I had gotten into a fight with three guys and decided to take one to the ground. You don’t win three on ones, you just pick someone to hurt as badly as possible before you get your ass stomped. I’ve been in enough fights to know it is nothing like the movies. People don’t come at you one at a time. They swarm, punching and grabbing you from every which direction.

When the first big guy threatened me with a good time, I gladly obliged him. Connecting with a clean right he didn’t see coming, I followed it up with a left before I felt the next guy grab me. Shimmying out of my shirt, I swung wildly before making my own grab for someone. As I took one to the ground, I figured the end would be soon. I began throwing as many elbows and fists into the dude’s face as fast as possible.

The first punch to the back of the head did nothing to stop my swinging. When an uppercut came, I rolled away hoping that would be enough. As a boot made impact with my ribs, I wanted to laugh. If I wasn’t gasping for breathe from being kicked in the ribs, I might of. Clutching my now bruised ribs, I made the one and only mistake of the night. I left my face unguarded. As the boot connected with my nose, the searing pain blinded me.

I couldn’t tell you how long I laid there mixing blood and tears into the dirt, but when I got up most of the people had cleared out.

I didn’t care about the bruised ribs. Or the broken face. My mouth filled with blood, I cared about taking a selfie.

Many years ago, as a kid I followed some pretty heavy metal bands on Myspace. I remembered this one lead singer who had a profile pic of him with blood running down his face. I don’t know why, but I always wanted a photo like that. It seemed like the perfect picture to describe how I felt. Bloodied, broken, but smiling. It captured my daily struggle with life.

Snapping that selfie was like crossing a life goal off my list.

“Are you taking a fucking selfie?” Someone said, half horrified, half laughing.

There is a certain madness I know I carry. To take a picture moments after being sprawled out in the dirt is insanity. But, I was alive. A bit broken, but alive nonetheless.

There is a line I love from the movie Green Street Hooligans. Once you’ve taken a few punches and realize you’re not made of glass, you don’t feel alive unless you’re pushing yourself as far as you can go. 

Maybe part of my problem is the romanticism I wrapped violence in growing up. In today’s world, that isn’t acceptable. But, when I was growing up, fighting was something you did.

As a boy, I fought because I was the only white kid in an all-Mexican neighborhood. When I moved to Connecticut, I fought because I was angry and having a hard time assimilating. If you have never been West Coast to East Coast, you wouldn’t understand the shift. People are nicer out west. The east is rife with stuck up folks who wouldn’t know politeness if it hit them in the face. So I hit them in the face.

I am not proud of the broken knuckles I have accrued over the years. For awhile, violence was all I knew. When I became a father and tried to live my life in a more thoughtful manner, I realized the world was changing for the better. Out back bare knuckle brawling wasn’t something I wanted my kids to embrace.

It always kills me when I see people bitch about how the world is changing. It’s too politically correct. People these days want things the last generation had to work for. Back in the day, my parents beat me and I turned out fine.

All of that, all of it, is bullshit. Trying to make a world where a kid doesn’t feel the need to lash out violently because he is different is a world I am happy to be a part of building. I want my kids to not have to worry if they are different. I want your kids not to worry, too. As far as free handouts, if I can do my part to get children the chance to go to school, go to the doctor, do things I didn’t always get the chance to do growing up- I am going to be for that. It doesn’t feel like entitlement to want to leave the world a better place for my children. I once had a chair thrown at my back because I wasn’t going to my room fast enough. I can remember every ass-whooping I got growing up. I can barely remember the hugs and kisses.

I didn’t turn out fine. I turned out a fucking mess.

Unless you are working your dream job, in your dream home, with your dream car- chances are you didn’t turn out fine either. This isn’t me judging or attempting to condemn the past generation. They did what they felt was best. I am hopeful of that at least. But if I have to see the guy I went to high school with, who was smarter than me back in the day, say he turned out fine because he got ass-whooping as a kid- I might go crazy. Working at the local gas station in the same shitty town you grew up in doesn’t mean you turned out fine.

In today’s world, you are more crazy for wanting to provide free tuition than you are for snapping a picture after getting your face broken in. Nobody sees something wrong with that?

People complain about everything changing in the world as we try to build a more inclusive society. I don’t think we are doing enough. I don’t want Today’s world.

I want Tomorrow’s world. 

November 12

Broadway is Dark Tonight

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My wife will always be a better person than I. At her core, she is forged with the fires of compassion. It is what drives her.

It’s one of the things that drew me to her. There is a certain beauty in the humanity she possesses.

When my mother passed, with tears through her eyes, my wife told me she wished she could take my pain. Not only did she say it but, I knew how much she truly meant it.

I watched my wife cry today over the loss of her grandma late last night. While I stood there holding her, I began to understand the burden her beautiful humanity carries. To wish to take people’s pain away and heal; it is the kind of characteristic I may always strive to achieve without ever succeeding.

I am broken, and in that brokenness I hold some semblance of beauty. My wife though, is a pure light. I have called her my port in a storm. The anchor to keep me from drifting away. For most my life, I felt being broken was the hardest thing in the world.

My wife is whole. She is a rock for broken souls, like mine, to cling to, lest we get swept out to sea.

I don’t think I understood a word my wife’s Abuela told me. But, in our moments together, I felt the small comforts I longed to feel from my own family. Just her presence in a room had a way of making me feel comfortable. A fiery latina woman, she always seemed to be making loud shouts while clapping her hands. Maybe she was shoo-ing me away, I don’t know. I will miss our little moments together.

When the boys were little, she taught them this Spanish song. I always butchered it, doing the hand motions and mumbling some random Taco Bell food. “Nacho Bel Grande!” I would say to the kids as I put my index finger into the center of the opposite hand. My children loved the song. When the youngest became old enough to learn it, it felt like a rite of passage for them. Abuela’s Song.

My wife searches through her drawers for dark clothing. Selecting tights, she tells me it is a cultural thing to dress in black after a loss. I am reminded of the light going dark on Broadway.

Broadway’s dark tonight.

When my friend dimmed the metaphorical lights on her blog after my mom died, it moved me. We are all trying to build something with our words. A brand. A safe space. Something we feel a driven desire to create. But, my friend dimmed the lights. To be a writer is to breathe words. To stand in silent solidarity while you allow your friend to grieve is a touching moment.

I find myself at a crossroads. This is my culture. The culture of the Wri-Ters is to dim your lights and pay our respects. I am halfway through an every day writing challenge. But, this is a cultural thing. While I may continue to write, there is a culture to uphold.

Broadway is dark tonight. And tomorrow. And the next night. To remember a fiery Latina Abuela, and the beautiful granddaughter I cling to when I am at my most broken.

November 11

American Hangover

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The thought of deporting my father-in-law appeases me. Unfortunately, after he snuck in this country illegally, he went back and did things the right way, becoming a citizen. Damnit.

It is interesting to me to watch what’s going on in my country. It goes to show how two people can see a situation so vastly different. This sort of thing must have researchers dry humping fact sheets. It is equal parts amazing and terrifying to watch.

MY SON LOVES TO TURN THE CAPS LOCK ON WHENEVER HE SEES ME WITH THE COMPUTER OUT. MAYBE HE IS ON TO SOMETHING. MAYBE I SHOULD WRITE LIKE THIS. WAKE UP AMERICA!

It got too intense there. It’s already intense enough in here and spiraling fast. Let’s ease off the caps.

I can’t be too angry with those who voted for Trump. While him becoming the president-elect gutted me, I looked more towards the failures of the Democratic Party than this being the voice of the people. They propped up a candidate with a controversial history and inability to connect with the young voter. Sure, maybe there was never a prison sentence or any charges- but the damage had been done.

Man, I miss Bernie. Maybe the fifty percent who chose not to come out to vote missed him too. I watch the protesters take to the streets and count bricks in hand. I look for matches hanging out of pockets and a part of me thinks maybe we should burn this country to the ground.

I grew up on war. A lot of us did. Watching Giuliani take the stage felt like the good ol’ war boys sneaking their way back in to the big house. What I remember from my childhood is two wars and the second biggest economic depression in American history. All under a republican regime. To me, it feels like they crashed the car we spent the last almost decade fixing to be well enough on the road. Why are we letting them drive again?

But whatever, the election was rigged and corrupt. Until it wasn’t. Until the Electoral College, where only 29 states legally bind their electors to the popular vote, decided this election. It is more a shame to me that half of America didn’t even come out. Sure, Clinton won the popular vote, but half of America didn’t feel this was important enough to come out.

I guess it goes back to what I said in the beginning, how two people can see a situation so vastly different. I came out. As I went through the hoops to cast my ballot, I told the registrar I was doing my part to help avoid an American Apocalypse.

I count the bricks and matches, wondering what windows will be smashed in tonight. My children already know how to shout “FIGHT THE POWER” with fist in air. They will grow up understanding civil disobedience is as much a civic duty as voting. I wonder if they will someday pull bandana over face and laden pockets with matches.

Question everything. Except me, your omnipotent father. The God Complex of parenting. 

I will always be loud and critical. I will also take the time to listen. We learned what an echo chamber does this election. Deleting, unfriending, blocking- again, I fault you, Democratic Party. Actively ignoring things you don’t like doesn’t mean you are going high when they go low. It means you are being ignorant. I say that with love and bitter taste in my mouth.

Election recap time!

DNC cheats the young voter. 

White women betray the country. 

Donald Trump destroys the progressive state in a day. 

It isn’t the average Trump voter that bothers me. I had family members vote for him. I had friends vote for him. It’s the people who got all excited to finally put their nazi flags up outside instead of just hanging them in their bedrooms. Those people bother me.

Then again, watching the African American Defense League throw weight behind Clinton must not have sat well with some.

We can all agree the KKK and it’s black counterpart, the AADL, might not be good for America?

My hands are starting to tremble. I need a smoke. Or a brick. 

Peaceful protest is nice, but riots hit the evening news. 

My children shout “Fight the power!” in the background. I worry about what I share with them. If you believe in something enough, like religion or a love for Pepsi over Coke, you impress it on your children. I believe in raging against the machine.

I remember watching a child take a giant knife to a teddy bear. An ISIS flag hanging behind his curly, precious, head.

Radical anything should disgust and unsettle. If anything leans too far one way or the other it is bound to topple over.

“Fight the power!”

We shout it at Peppa and I wonder what they will laden their pockets with.

“Fight the power!”

And I wonder if my children, like me, will only know war time.

My generation was fed Ritalin and video games. When we became aware of the mess we were left with, we were labeled entitled whiners. The ones who handed us a shit economy, no, a shit country, called us entitled.

“What did you expect? We would give you something? You always want! WANT WANT WANT! God, take your ramen noodles and go sob elsewhere. ENTITLED PRICKS.

Like an abusive drunk. They crashed the car, yelled at us for it, then demanded we fix it. When we did, they took it for another spin. Them good ol’ boys.

“Fight the power!” 

My generation grew up on violence, watching planes fly into building and classmates ship overseas. They are demanding peaceful protests from the children they labeled whiny and entitled. They forgot to show us what peaceful looks like. 

“Fight the power.” They scream enthusiastically at the TV. I wonder if they will ever get the opportunity to learn what the word peace means.

What will we accuse them of when they come of age? Not graciously accepting a country that is a shell of what it used to be?

Pile your bricks by the door. Come and eat your porridge, kids. What did you entitled little pricks do today? 

“Fight the power!” We scream it at the TV.

November 10

Nano Poblano: The Alien Hour Part Two

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Read part one, by AR Neal, HERE

 

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“What the F-“ A sharp jolt of electricity jumped through my body.

“Yes, we had heard of your people’s propensity to use those derogatory words.” It said.  Only a moment before, I had been stuck in middle-of-nowhere America with AR and another one of these things.  This one had a more feminine, slender frame about it, unlike my original captor. It’s purple skin shimmered, drawing my attention away from the inordinate amount of eyeballs staring at me. It pulled a laptop out, leaving tentacle marks across the top of it. The laptop! I recognized the Nerd Revolution stickers adorning it. I hoped these things didn’t check browser history.

Things. Before I knew it, I began to giggle over a joke AR made about bathrooms with our first captor. Were we captives? I certainly didn’t end up on this ship by free will. There wasn’t a whole lot of freedom going around these days and, as I remembered the past few months, it didn’t seem much normalcy had been going around either.

“Wha-what are you looking at? The stuff in the browser history is purely for scientific research. They have science where you come from, right?” I stumbled through the words apprehensively. Maybe I should shut my mouth, I thought.

“No need to shut your mouth. I am looking through blogs.”

BLOGS? I can’t even stand them and I have one. Well, two. Okay, three.I have three of them. But, who would look through blogs if they didn’t have to?

“If you must know, it is where we get most of our information on your peculiar species.” She…It continued. “You can call me She if it makes you feel more comfortable.”

Was that annoyance in It… Her voice? 

“According to the blogs, no one voted for Donald Trump. Yet, you Americans are calling him your next president? How does this work? Where is the fight to the death?”

I imagined Hillary in some chainmail with an axe. Maybe that would make America great again.

“The blogs had it wrong!” The words sounding as ridiculous as they could. The blogs got it wrong. That’s the best way I could explain it to this creature.

I hoped AR was providing a more thoughtful answer to their questions.

I’m fu-, I began to think a swear and felt the jolt of electricity.

“Stay out of my godd- *Jolt* F- *Jolt* Sh *JOLT*” Keeled over on the floor, I watched her slither towards me.

“Didn’t you read those words are easy way outs? I thought you were a writer.”

“No, I’m an As*jolt*shole” Grimacing, I forced the word past the pain. If this was to be my last day, there was gonna be some freedom of speech. And by freedom of speech, I meant swearing. Lot’s of it.

“You Americans are a peculiar bunch. If only you gripped one another as tight as your weapons, we wouldn’t have to be here.”

“You’ve read one too many blog posts.” I grimaced, still keeled over from forcing out that one swear. I contented myself to my fate. This was it. Death by aliens.

Meh, I could live with that.

But, why AR and I? They could have abducted anyone.

“You’re probably wondering why we chose you and your friend.” Clearly, she was in my head again.

“No, not I!” The sarcasm was flowing now, with no way to contain it.

“Odd, your brain said you were. Must be a malfunction. We have come from a future in hopes of understanding how it began.”

“How WHAT happened?” This was starting to get just plain confusing.

“The Intergalactic War. When Donald Trump began to deport all the illegal aliens.”

I had to laugh. The Don was ready to boot the aliens alright.

“We call people who are not from our country ‘aliens’. He is going to kick those ones out. Most of us aren’t even sure YOU exist. Well, we have the X-Files, but there is still healthy skepticism.” Jeez, I hope AR was giving better answers than I.

“Yes, it starts with closing your country up to others. But, what do you think happened when he discovered us?” Her tentacles began to flail. “Your people can’t even love one another if your pigmentation is different. When we were discovered, how do you think people reacted? I wish you gripped each other as much as you gripped your weapons. Now, we have to stop this from happening.”

Music begins to blare from my laptop. Rage Against the Machine.

“You are a fan of civil disobedience?” She asked, as I nodded along. Pistol Grip Pump blared through the room. In staring at It…Her, I hadn’t even noticed the room. It looked more like a Best Buy than what I imagined the inside of a space ship to be. Speakers, DVD’s, and electronics. The aliens apparently liked to Black Friday shop.

“It’s time for you and your friend to partake in some Intergalactic Civil Disobedience”

Did we just get abducted by Alien Activists? 

She nodded her head.

“Fu *JOLT* Yeah, I am in. But you are gonna have to ease up on the jolting.”

*****************

WOO, THAT WAS FUN! Shout out to Bradley of Green Embers for putting so much time and effort into this wonderful November project and bringing together a diverse and wonderful group of talented writers artists. Thanks to Ra of Rarasaur for including me in her Cheer Peppers. It means the world to me. #71 and #75 of the awesome Cheer Pepper’s Promptosaur! Thanks so much for doing this with me AR. You knocked part one out of the park! Awesome to work together! Check out AR at One Starving Activist.

November 9

Today, I Am Gutted.

lady-liberty

Today, I am gutted.

It isn’t just because Donald Trump will be the next president, despite my efforts at the poll. It isn’t because he says things that make me feel uncomfortable for my friends a shade too dark or female. It’s not because, in him winning, my vote felt meaningless.

Today, I am gutted.

It isn’t because I just watched the Republican Party sweep into control of every branch for the foreseeable future. It isn’t the two wars branded onto my mind. The wars our last Republican president fearlessly marched us into when I was only ten years old.

Today, I am gutted.

It isn’t because my generation is entitled. An accusation thrown at us, again and again, despite our best efforts to rebuild an economy after The Great Recession. It isn’t the difficulties we face in becoming homeowners because my parents crashed the housing market while I was taking Honors Chemistry in high school.

Today, I am gutted. 

It isn’t because I watched the American Dream soiled. It isn’t the bad taste this leaves in my mouth, as I fear the day I have to explain to my Spanish children why they are considered second class citizens in the country they were born and raised.

Today, I am gutted. 

It isn’t the fear some of my friends already have in the dawn of this new era. It isn’t the fact that the KKK openly supported and championed the winning opponent. It isn’t just because this didn’t raise enough red flags for his other supporters.

Today, I am gutted.  

It isn’t because I know this won’t make America great again. It isn’t this feeling of backwardness that comes with accepting our new president. It isn’t the world looking on in utter confusion as we seem to self-immolate.

Today, I am gutted. 

It isn’t because of any one thing.

It’s because if this election proved anything, it’s that America is no longer the greatest country in the world. You don’t run on a platform to make something great again if you don’t think it is broken.

Today, I am gutted. 

Because we may never make America great again. Not if this is the direction we are choosing to go in.