I rambled the beach at an extreme low tide on the morning of Fourth of July. I admired sea stars and mussels. I stopped in one of my forts and made a phone call to a dear friend. I visited another fort and read the strange nonsense someone had written on the wood.
On my way home I begin to think about my country and the spectacle the President staged at Mt. Rushmore last night. I didn’t watch a second of, nor will I ever. I never thought I would live to see the day when a tinpot dictator held the highest office in the land. It all seems to be collapsing around him in disorder and death.
I got into it with a neighbor the other day. He described the mask order as Nazi. He said it was all a hoax and the flu. I rebutted this and that and then walked away. If gravity aided the Democrats, he would say gravity was a hoax and believe it. Consider this: many French reactionaries welcomed the Nazis invasion of their country. The Vichy government and all that. This time feels like that to me, a Vichy sort of government in place that rallies the fanatics with fear and hate and debasement. The old fascist playbook. It’s never changed. It never will. Consider this: there were many Germans who still believed in Hitler after it all ended. We have those kind of Americans today.
Last night I watched a movie about football and one of the extras was someone named Jack Snow, which I think is about the best male name I have ever heard. It occurred to me that I once owned the football card of Jack Snow. He was on my All-Name team, a group of players with the best football names, such as Dick Butkus and Jack Ham and Sonny Sixkiller.
As I was walking back home from the beach, I came across a dilapidated red sedan parked in front of a grange hall. The sedan was covered in moss and duct tape. The tags were expired from years ago. A young man was sleeping in the driver’s seat because the back seat was filled with shit. The man wore a black hoodie and his mouth was wide open as he slept. He face was scarred and hollow.
This scene struck me as precisely the image of America’s body politic.
The swallows soared overhead as I passed the sedan. They didn’t care about anything but flying.
I hope I don’t hear a single firecracker tonight, but I will.