NB: This was written just days after the insurrection at the United States Capitol and one week before President Biden’s and Vice President Harris’ inaugurations.
An honest question, as I stop for the red light and take in the messages on the back of the car in front of me. How is this even possible?
First, there is the reality of putting all those stickers on your car, which feels messy and sticky and at least semi-permanent. But second, and really most important, how can anyone believe that Covid is a hoax and all we need to do is give it the finger and deny its existence?
It makes me mad. It makes me sad. It makes me think you are really bad. It’s Dr. Seuss does the plague.
I’d like to tap on this person’s window. Just hop right out of my car while we’re both stuck at this interminable red light, and rap on that window. The fact of his car makes me long for a conversation — that I win, of course — in the parking lot of the bad Thai restaurant to our left. It makes me long to say, Are you that selfish, and have the driver of this car crumple in self-awareness and epiphany and thank me for the enlightenment.
Except that is not how America works anymore. Probably never did, but it was a wonderful myth while it lasted.
So, no rapping on the window.
Instead, I start an imaginary dialogue with the owner of this car.
Hey, douche bag, I say. Strong start.
I am my bravest when it’s just me and my dog in the car. I can let loose on any indiscretion and use words that would get me kicked off Twitter forever.
“Covid isn’t real? REALLY? Tell that to the 360,000 people who have died. Or to their families. Or their loved ones. Their kids. Yeah, tell that to their kids. That their mother gasped to death begging for air because Dr. Fauci has it in for Trump?
Is it possible, really? That people just ignore the truths they don’t want to hear? Well, yes, it’s possible. Of all of us. But isn’t it also possible that facts trump fictions? Some people are more gullible or maybe more imaginative than others. Mexico was supposed to pay for the wall. Melania “earned” an Einstein visa. Remember that one? Right up there with her alleged kidney surgery which left her looking like a Siberian Husky.
The light remains red.
I had a bumper sticker on my car and I recently removed it. It read, “I’d rather be at a Jackson Browne concert.” Seemed banal enough at the time but, today, I know this announces, as if in bold caps, HELLO, I AM A DEMOCRAT. AND, YES, I INHALED.
It’s not possible to explain our strange country. To love it, to hate it, too. To know that the land of opportunity is also the land of blood-soaked soil and the ghostly sounds of whip and bone. That we can lose more people than soldiers of WWII and people will refuse to wear a mask.
I’m glad to be wearing a mask. I’m glad I’m a nervous wreck and I fear the end of days before we miraculously get to January 20th. Nonetheless, I paid the Amex bill — — four days early — — because a good credit score might still matter, while we wait for the light to turn green and for the sign that indicates it’s possible — truly possible — to once again move freely about the cabin.
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