FANTASIA ON A TROUBLED TIME

What a week! What a month! MLK had a dream. We had a nightmare. We went on a bender. Nations can go on benders, too. France, 1789, Russia, 1917. Revolution, after all, is basically mass inebriation. In my particular nightmare, we’re in a flea bag hotel, hung over. The night started okay. Moonlight, hors d’oeuvres, Chinese lanterns, nice social distancing. Then we’re in the pool and in the tank. The pool’s blood red. Christopher Columbus is headless and horizontal. Folks are yelling “black lives matter” and getting cheers. Other folks are yelling, “ALL lives matter” and getting beat up. Liz Warren is downing boiler-makers and re-naming Army forts for flowers. (Fort Begonia for Fort Benning. Whatever!) Trump and Biden are wrestling on top of the peanut shells, giving each other beer shampoos. Chairs and bottle are flying. Some guy jumps up and says “Columbus delivered the natives from human sacrifice, cannibalism and ritual castration.” I say, “Sush! Don’t give these savage drunks any ideas.” The cops show up. They’ve got a new policy for barroom brawls and riots. Wait until it’s over, then arrest the losers. (The big loser, I’m thinking, will be American civilization.) The joint goes up in smoke. Then we’re crashed in that Roach Resort, still brawling. I wake up and pick up the Blue & Gray Bedside Guide for Recovering Civil Warriors. It reads, “we must not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it.” Perfect! Past- present, good-bad, black-white, blue-gray — it’s all us. All American. Can’t we sober up and get along, people? (Where’s Rodney King when we need him?) I think I’m still dreaming.

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