After two months outside, pretty well insulated from this political climate, I come back to find it was safer in the woods. The poison ivy at least has three leaves. Black bears are pacifists who prefer to hug trees. Bees are after their honey. And leave you alone once they know you’re not sweet. But outside of the woods, things are not as they seem.
I’ve seen black bears the color of cream wearing gray comb-overs who couldn’t fathom satisfying women their own age. Heard about poison ivy hung like mistletoe above office doorways, and dangled from handles, and laid out in thick wreaths on every seat. For years it will be coming out of pores, clothes, hiding in shoes, latent in skin. The itch. Hornets leaping from holes in the ground up skirts, up pant legs, down shirts, not even looking for honey. Honey is back home waiting. These insects just want to sting something. Anything.
After spending a couple months outside, without a roof overhead, I can tell you with confidence, it is in fact not actually raining. A political system is pissing on our heads. And it is not worried about these independent scandals coming out. Its fear is us discovering just how many years this has been happening. And my guess,
damn near every one of them since the beginning.
They’re going to continue painting black bears up like pandas. They already are. Scared people like to hide. These men are scared. They built these governments. All patriarchy. And turned themselves into monsters. And monsters like caves. Armani and Gucci and Polo Ralph Lauren. Single breasted and brand named and an office and a title for a lair. Bouquets of daisies wrapped in poison ivy vines on sumac place settings.
Not all the bees you meet are going to lead to honey.
And not all honey is going to be sweet.
In the woods, you really don’t wear camouflage.
It is actually far more beneficial and safer to be seen.
You put on something bright orange, you sing a little while you hike,
you don’t hesitate to talk out loud and make a little noise.
But now that I’m out of the woods, it has been the opposite.
Since I’ve been home
almost everywhere I go
I see some kind of camouflage.
I am almost ready to express where I am with the recent election. This nation is divided. But not accidentally or happenstance. It is split up like a stump into a pile of firewood. Conservative wedge. Democratic hammer. People forced to, out of unending, choose between two.
Blame, ironically, is also a two party system. There are over three hundred million people in America. And a couple of privately operated, independent entities, convinced us to choose between two of them. What were true blue, lifelong Democrats supposed to do? How about Republicans, when every other option that ran ran off on them, clearing space for the saggy face of unmerited ego.
Blaming anyone for the direction in which they cast their fishing line last week is unfair, it’s misguided, and entirely intentional. Not a single one of us chose this fishing hole. And I can’t help but feel somebody knew it would come with a catch.
The men who founded this country were not enlightened so much as frightened by the prospect of democracy. It was really less a message of power for the people than it was about too much power for a king. They used democracy like a worm on a hook to catch the unending career opportunities offered up by republics. They did not know the celebrity culture that would take hold after just a few short centuries. The system they invented was like a cast put on the leg we busted trying to get out of the Great Britain bear trap. But it has become the clearest path to kingship left in America. And our celebrity culture has evolved into its own isolated form of incestual monarchy. What happened last week was just a sneak peek of what the future holds for elections in this country.
It is getting so difficult to hear arguments for representative solutions to apply to authenticated issues, over the sound of the phone in my pocket screaming how democracy is more possible today than ever before.
But to the people who made governing people into careers, democracy was never the goal. It is their greatest fear.
This morning I woke to the sound of so many minds clicking off. And while it is frightening to consider what all it took to turn them on in the first place, it was an uncomfortable feeling. Seeing hope only when it leads to victory. Treating someone else’s retrograde as your progress. If you didn’t see this coming, you and I have that in common. But thinking there was a fight to be had yesterday, and there isn’t one today, is not a thought we share. My mind is not clicking off, mostly because it turned on way prior to twenty sixteen.
This is it. These are the days our ancestors were obsessive over. This is the end of eras, and the birth of existence. Everyone in the world knows this man is not a candidate. Not a president. He’s an alarm clock. A morning reveille no amount of groaning or rolling over will deter. We’re awake now. We started stirring to laughter over the possibility of a controversial celebrity making a run for our nation’s big Grecian styled mansion. And by the time we took the thought of getting out of bed seriously, it was too late to stop it. That is not on you, or me, or anyone who cast a vote in this election, or anyone who didn’t. That is the fickle nature of representative government. We call this thing a popular vote. A popular election. We discredited candidates early on, not citing credentials, but their lack of likability and winning potential. We can say that to presidential candidates, though we would never say it to children. Yet we do, when we keep it as an institute.
A celebrity ran for president in a popular election and won. All I can think is, how the hell did I not see this coming. I laid down last night with this alarm set for myself. How there is always just enough time in an evening to forget morning will be born again at the end of it all, I do not know. There just is. The end of night seems determined to always come as a surprise.
And this morning, I woke to the sound of so many minds, for the first time, up early enough to see a sunrise.