Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee
Two planes passed over, then I saw a bat. Unlike the planes, the bat moved this and that way, zigging to the sounds we were making. I’d like to be something that sees you with its ears – I’d like letting our introductions draw out as long as breath.
I listened to an episode of The State of Things with Frank Stasio. It’s a UNC-produced podcast they play each day on NPR. Today, they were talking about the 1619 Project, modern black artists, the persistent culture that came from four hundred years of slavery. Two lines stood out: in his acceptance speech for an Emmy, Jharrel Jerome says the only black stories people want to reward are those having to do with pain; and regarding the 1619 Project, the panel mentioned how capitalism’s core was born in the brutalism of treating people as expendable bodies. In short, the whole thing really bummed me out.
At the end of work, when the lines died down, the office got to talking about the death penalty. Someone made a joke about firing squads, the joke dug into more serious things. The office was split on whether or not we ought to be killing our prisoners, but there was a general consensus that at least SOMEONE ought to die. That kind of scared me. One woman said she’s friends with a prison preacher. Her friend told her how she’s stopped checking the records of the prisoners she gives their last rites – it’s easier to see them as people if you forget what they’ve done.
We had a bag of split peas at the house that were growing weevils. Our best guess of how they got there was they laid eggs in the processing plant, or the farm, and now the eggs have hatched. The whole bag was moving, millions. We set it out in the garbage to be hauled off because what else could we do?
The bat dived so low I thought she’d hit us. Then she was back up. If you close your eyes and listen, it’s easier to hear the breathy stuff, the reeds, the deep dark sounds that make us all equally human. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m scared, though, that you won’t hear it, no matter how hard I try to make you.
Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller
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The streetlight outside my house shines on tonight and I’m watching it like it could give me a vision. James ain’t talked ever and he looks at that streetlight like it was a word and maybe like it was a verb. James wanted to streetlight me and make me bright and beautiful so all the moths and bats would circle me like I was the center of the world an held secrets.Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven