I’m not sure what attracted me to Stephanie. Was it her hazel eyes, which changed colors and had a circle of orange around the iris? Or was it how calm I felt around her, like I could be myself and not worry about ridicule?
I lay with her in bed on a Saturday night. She ran her fingers down my chest as we talked, and I could feel goosebumps shoot all over my body.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked, breaking the cool and calm silence.
“I’m still thinking about the talk at the university, to be honest. It was interesting. I always wondered what it’d be like to be a cyborg.”
We’re living in dangerous times. Some people (like my girlfriend) seem to be able to cope with it better than me. For me, though, a lot of the things going on in the world have me feeling very on edge.
History is collective memory, and it’s always subject to correction.
It’s written by winners, whether daughters of despots or democrats. They build bronze statues that inform us of what happened, who’s calling the shots, who owns the space you occupy.
As the city convulses, an ex-mayor’s monument is fractured, beat to the ground. Our historical texts must be rewritten, newspaper editors must be removed, the revolution must be televised and live streamed to your social media feeds, and you must forget what you’ve learned because
there are new facts.
(Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash)
When democracy died, I was reading Kafka –
gunshots blared + factions fought for ideals
they thought worth dying for –
TVs tuned to Washington +
the White House went dark,
troops marched + destroyed dissidents.
Who said this was the Land of the Free?
They must’ve been joking, because since them days,
there have been slaves, and even when the chains
broke, the Klan came from dark woods in hoods
and burned crosses – fires crackling in fields,
reflecting in frightened eyes.
To put it plainly, the past week or so has been insane. On top of the pandemic, a revolution has started in many major American cities, including Philadelphia (where I live in the suburbs). I support the fight against police brutality, but seeing the violence and chaos on the news has sent my mental health on a tailspin.
The funny thing about being an American is that, when I was growing up, we used to ask each other as kids, “Where are you from?” We didn’t mean what neighborhood; we meant what country. I would say, “I’m Italian,” because my family has Italian ancestry.