It's going to be okay.
Wynn Bruce set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court on Earth Day. You might’ve missed the news. I did. You were probably at work. The kids were sick that day. I was probably fighting with someone on twitter. We were dunking on a republican who called concentration camps, contemplation camps. What a fucking moron.
We need a leader. One we can all agree is pure. And perfect. As pure as a 5 year old with the experience of a 70 year old white man, preferably a veteran, went to a good school, not Harvard though, maybe Stanford. A leftist but not a socialist, definitely not Yale. They’ll have to be white. But not a white man. Not a brown woman though. They have to appeal to everyone. We need charisma. We need charm. We need someone who sheds a tear at the right moment. Who never cries or raises their voice.
They’d spring a purge on us like a surprise field trip. Now that I type that sentence I realize they once sprang a purge on us on a surprise field trip. We were on our way to Berlin. Goddamn I wanted to go to Berlin. That I was born in Berlin is a load-bearing part of my personality. But we all wanted to go. We’d just watched the Wall come down. We’d crossed into East Germany two weeks before this. There was no one at the border where they used to search cars, where they used to arrest people, and shoot people. The windows of the guard post were covered in graffiti. It had only been a few weeks. We were going to Berlin, sure to preach the gospel, whatever. My friend Heidi and I were going to get a piece of the wall. She was born in Berlin too. The adults could talk of saving souls. We’d happily nod along and smile. We were going to motherfucking Berlin. And then we weren’t.
You’d think we’d have turned on our handlers. They must’ve been worried about that too. I know that now. I know it’s why they started a good old fashioned purge. They’d heard we’d been murmuring. It’s why we hadn’t been making enough money begging off East Germans who asked us for bread. Silly mixup. Something lost in translation. We said we were missionaries and they stupidly assumed we were there to help. Now we we were out of money and we weren’t going to Berlin. Who’s fault is that? That wasn’t rhetorical. Tell us. Who’s been murmuring? Who’s been a doubting Thomas? This will only get worse if we don’t weed them out. If they don’t come forward, we’ll have to punish all of you. Then Heidi wasn’t my friend anymore. Then anyone could turn on you. You can’t organize a revolt if they’re gonna tell on you.
We need a spark. We’re so far behind. They had a literal 9/11. Towers fell. We said never forget and never forget means they can listen in to our living rooms. Who needs a bug when we’ll place the devices ourselves. We never forgot and the Uvalde police department has a SWAT team and an armored personnel carrier to harass a woman who saved her kids when the police wouldn’t. Never forget meant the cops and troops had to be the good guys. You couldn’t go around making a movie with a robot from the future dressed up as a cop, walking through an arcade looking for the good guy, and some punk kid saves the world by lying to a cop. That’ll never fucking fly. We need to feel safe. We need to know Elliot Stabler will protect us. We need NCIS. We need Criminal Minds. We need to believe. We need super heroes. We need to believe our institutions will protect us. It’s the American way. We need Blue Bloods and the West Wing. We need to cry when they play Hallelujah.
The suicides will start soon. Already have. I doubt we’ll hear much about them. They’ll want to protect her privacy. The murders will start too. When she can’t hide the bump with black, loose clothing. But she wasn’t perfect either. It’s was mutual abuse really. He had his reasons. And an author said something we don’t agree with. That’s the real violence. Do you even understand that authoritarians go after the authors first? That’s why we need to make sure they don’t step out of line. We’re activists. Here’s a link to a youtube video that’ll link you to a makeup tutorial that’ll link you to a funny video about dogs that sends you over to Jordan Peterson talking about meat. What a fucking moron. Obviously you have to repost that. He’d hate for his message to spread.
We need a leader, but not that guy who went on Joe Rogan. Someone else. Oh hell no. Not her. God if she’d just take some elocution lessons. We can’t talk to Joe Rogan. We cancelled him. Sure everyone still listens to Joe Rogan, and Joe Rogan, being a fucking idiot, believes the last thing he heard. But he’s been cancelled so the best thing is to make sure he only hears from Nazis. Don’t talk to him. We’ll burn you at the stake on twitter while our entire family who isn’t on twitter tunes in to Joe Rogan because he has interesting guests and he listens. He’s interested. You can tell because he pauses at certain times. I guess we forgot to mention we cancelled him.
It’s understandable. I forgot to tell my mom I had an abortion. I know I mentioned it in my book. There’s an entire essay about it. I had an abortion. I wanted one. I needed one. I got one. And sure I’m not sympathetic to twitter. I am privileged and entitled and a little touchy about the book I wrote about my childhood of sexual abuse and my rape and my abortion and my homelessness and my jail stint. I called people nerds on twitter. I might be sympathetic to my mom though. I am, afterall, her daughter. But my mom didn’t read the book. I wrote that abortion part last. I didn’t want my mom to know. But, turns out, all those night I lay awake, I was practicing a conversation I’d never have. She doesn’t want to read the book.
She used to tell me stories about girls the icu. She had an abortion, Lauren. Then she died. Then my mom told me a story and cried. The girl this time was pretty, Lauren. She was so pretty. She was in college to be a nurse. She miscarried and didn’t see a doctor because she was afraid of the truth. She went septic. Then she died. My mom said the girl was afraid of her husband. She was ashamed. I said religion will do a number on your head. My mom agreed—sometimes, maybe… maybe sometimes it’s better than death. Maybe it isn’t always killing a baby. She’d been so steadfast. But she wasn’t sure. The girl was so pretty. I wondered if I was still pretty enough. But I didn’t say it. I just walked outside and got in my car. I didn’t have anywhere to go. I just drove up the block and smoked.
Tom and Peter were brothers. I can’t remember if they were twins. They looked alike, sort of. Peter looked like the evil version of Tom. Or Tom looks like the evil version of Peter, depends on your perspective on blond or black hair, blue or brown eyes. My opinion is based on Peter was a fucking tattle-tale. (I wasn’t familiar with the term bootlicker back then.) Peter said our handlers were trying the best they could. Their hands were tied. We were out of money. Sure the home had money. But we were here to raise money. Tom said that’s kind of dumb. The East Germans didn’t have any money. They had coins and bills but they were worth shit. And there wasn’t any food to buy anyway. We should’ve brought money. The home could send us some. We were supposed to be saving souls. What happens if we just go back to Switzerland. Peter said there wasn’t enough money. We should’ve tried harder. Their hands were tied. It wasn’t even their decision. We’d been called back—even the handlers have handlers—so that’s that. We could try again in the spring. Give the Germans a chance to figure it out. We could stay out of trouble and practice our songs and they’d pick us again next time, but not if you’re complaining, not if you’re doubting our handlers, undermining them, casting doubts. We agreed. Tom agreed and gave me a look and I agreed because otherwise, Peter was gonna tell. Then Peter fucking told on us.
The thing is you’re doing it wrong. It’s too far left. Obviously we’re fighting nazis who casually speak of genocide and the right dares not denounce them or the middle right, the polite right, the we don’t use that word, honey right, the mainstream just getting through their day right… Well, it turns out they won’t denounce genocide, per se. Still. We have to be careful about words. Abolish the Police is stupid. It’s just bad branding. I know you’d think Blood and Soil and Swastikas are bad branding. But we’re not talking about them. We’re talking about you. And how we need you to stay peaceful. Don’t disrupt traffic. Don’t burn anything. For god’s sake don’t punch a Nazi. It’s just a distraction from the message. Didn’t Martin Luther King write a single line that’s the only line that comes to mind. I think it has something to do with don’t disrupt commerce.
What we need is a tipping point. Something needs to happen. We need a blonde girl with her hands raised in the air, kneeling over the body of her dead friend. Not that girl who got run over Charlottesville. She was a little, ugh. Don’t make me say it. We need white kids tear gassed in front of the White House. Oh my god since we’re here, yeah, yeah. Teargas. White kids. A priest, sure. But that’s not important. Did you see that photo of Trump holding the Bible upside down? What a fucking moron. Hold on, I saw some memes. Lemme find them. What were we saying. Ah, yes, we need a tipping point. Something that won’t die in the news like 19 school children in what was the name of that town?
The tipping point was 6 years ago when we elected a fascist. It’s not our fault. She was flawed. She married that asshole for fuck’s sake. And that other guy was a moron who tweeted the funniest shit. Remember Covfefe? Goddamn that was fun. He put 3 justices on the Supreme Court that just decided we no longer have the right to remain silent about the now felony abortion we abetted. He tried to overthrow the country, what’s left of it. He still is. I just think we need to understand that Lizzo should know better than use that word. It’s called activism. Someone has to say it in a two week long twitter thread.
We need to understand they’re doing all they can. It’s not nothing. They read a poem. They sang God Bless America for fuck’s sake. When you ask for more, you’re undermining them. The secret is to vote, then once they’re elected, we push them to the left. Do you not understand how anything works? When they tell you to vote harder, what they’re saying is vote harder. Sure they have the bully pulpit and could allow abortion service providers to lease federal lands in red states where local authorities have no jurisdiction. And sure there are military bases all over these states with plenty of infrastructure already in place. They could sign executive orders. But they can’t tell us their plan. It’s a super secret plan. You need to trust it even though we made fun of the other guy for those super secret plans he didn’t really have. Obviously this isn’t the same thing. You need to learn to trust your institutions. You need to vote.
We could break them so easily. They showed us how. We could stop. And it would fucking break them. But we’re waiting for a leader I guess. Not her though. A perfect leader.
We need to do this right. We need to be careful. We’re so close to the edge. We can’t move without thinking. We can’t move without orders. We can’t move. We could lose everything. They might get angry. And I can’t trust you not to tell. Everything’s going to be fine. We just have to learn we can’t trust one another. I need you to understand you’re doing it wrong. Don’t get angry. Don’t go low. Don’t get in trouble. You’re fucking it up for all of us. They have a plan. Maybe next time, if we’re good.
I need to talk to my mom.