Notes on a train wreck

Watching from afar. A grand, sweeping vista. It’s an ugly view. Brett Kavanaugh, sorry excuse for a life-time appointment, confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States. I am aghast. I am angry. I am thoroughly disgusted. I am resigned.

I refuse to call America “my country” just now. I am American by birth, American by passport, American by default, but no longer American by consent.

What I see:

America, the spoiled rich kid, ignorant of the world, insistent on unearned privilege, squandering—callously so—its inheritance, the accumulated wealth of generations.

America, shouting, foot-stomping, carrying on.

America, fingers in its ears, shouting “Nah nah nah, I’m not listening. Not to you, not to anyone.”

America, hopelessly, recklessly, stupidly arrogant.

America, the drunken frat bro who just wants to do keg stands and bang unconscious chicks without your judgment.

America, the land of “Me first” and “Go fuck yourself.”

America, the Empire of Liberty (not at all ironic), where of course the sun never sets on bigotry, violence, and hate.

America, the shining beacon of toothless, gun-toting, backwater morons.

America, the fantasy island of God-fearing, Dirty Harry wannabes, with their dead eyes and their cold dead hands and their praise Jesus amens.

America, the darkened shore of the retched, huddled masses, the teeming, ragged refuse, the brain-washed, tired, and weary.

America, from sea to shining sea, a colossal cluster fuck, no longer anyone’s land of milk and honey.

America, a hulking, sagging wreck washed up and broken up on the shoals of what might have been.

And yet, and yet…

Somehow, I remain a patriot—of self-evident truth and inalienable rights, of equality before men and women, and any other category of human—ideals that a vocal and benighted quorum of star-spangled idiots seem so intent to discard, so casually, in the name of what exactly? Tell me what kind of better world.It isn’t at all apparent from here.

Your flight has been delayed, cue despondency

Our life in voluntary exile has stalled out for the moment. It seems we’ll be sticking around Central New York for a few weeks longer, emphasis on the “longer.” (The circumstances, though relevant, won’t be discussed here.)

I pray to the gods of travel: No, please no. Not this. Lift this heavy burden from me. You said you wouldn’t give us more than we could carry. Well, maybe that was another god, but still, couldn’t you just do us this one tiny favor? Please oh please.

If it was up to me, we’d be gone tomorrow, yesterday—hell, weeks ago. Who am I kidding? We never would’ve come back here in the first place. To visit maybe, but to live? for any length of time? Fugetaboutit.

It’s nothing personal, land of my birth. You just don’t do it for me anymore, if you ever did. The thing is, now I have something else to compare you to, and while you may be able to offer a orgy of consumer choice—like fifty different varieties of mustard for my hotdog—this isn’t inducement stay any longer than I have to.

And let’s not forget the fact that my fellow countrymen (and women, but mostly men) chose for their leader—of all the goddamn possibilities!—a bloviating, infantile, ignoramus—a fucking has-been reality star, a D-lister! as the CEO of this listing ship. This was, of course, accomplished with an assist from the Russian oligarchy, but never mind all that. Never mind the fact that every shit-kicking, down-home Nazi feels right as rain about which way the winds are blowing.

I say to you good luck with all that. And get me the fuck out of here. I’ll come back when the monsters slink back to the shadows where they belong.

But that’s a bit unfair. Of course it is. You have many fine qualities, land of my birth. You truly were once that shining city on a hill, I believe that. And there were many things to wave the flag over. There are reasons to be a patriot, but I can’t get on board with the rebranding. This new marketing strategy you’ve hit upon…Well, it’s safe it isn’t gonna foster any kind of brand loyalty with me. I daresay your erstwhile customers are fleeing in droves to the nearest competition. I guess that’s one way to solve the so-called immigration problem.

This is what happens when I light upon the subject of America in 2018. The bitterness is real, the product of so many shattered illusions, but I shouldn’t neglect to mention—I should emphasize (like that)—that it isn’t the reason Dahlia and I are leaving. We’re not leaving out of spite. It’s because we can’t help but seek other shores. It’s what the wandering sort was born to do. We are that sort, and so we must do.

But I’m staying for now, I guess. Dahlia and I will be staying for just a little bit longer, but not one second longer than we have to.

Taiwan, I’m eagerly anticipate our reunion though it will be delayed for a time. I look forward to getting to know you, for real this time. I have a good feeling about us. It’ll be nice, at the very least, to live in a country still on its way up. Who knows, we might not ever leave.

But who am I kidding? We will be on our way eventually. That moment always comes. It’s in our blood after all, this itinerant life.