Children cry. Toddlers especially. They are fickle. They have demands and the word ‘no’ holds about as much weight to them than the state of DOW does to the teenager slinging fries at a Wendy’s. With parents, and I’m generalizing here, it’s very easy to just look at those sobbing children, simply smile. Even the ones that have that sound of Valhalla falling, it grates more but still hits the same, is a slightly more tenuous note.
“You are learning. You have tested someone’s patience. This is life and you are learning it slowly and like all human processes, the new is always painful, because it turns out the world isn’t solely about yourself near as you would like.”
But there is another end to that. The one we see scattered across the internet and news this weekend and ones before, the ones that have most people (I hope) shook to their core in horror even as another vocal group of shitbag master race tribalists and crass, soulless trolls laugh in inhuman glee.
Children torn from parents. Locked apart in rooms like the animals those that detained them seem to truly believe they are. Two-year-olds huddled together in scarred, sobbing masses, trying to make sense of a world dictated by a 32-year-old fascist and the orange clown whose too self-obsessed with self felaciating himself to care for much besides tasting himself.
I see these stories and my heart breaks. Not in that romantic sense of some overblown political concern. In the way that my eyes water and if I didn’t have to avoid the urge to scream to my two-year-old that this is the world decided to make her and how sorry I am and how much I wish I could fix it, give into that urge to violence that breeds so well in the childish superhero fetish.
I see her being taken from me when I close my eyes. I play it out, deliberately. The heart’s already broken. Hell, I lied, it’s not broke, it’s acclimating, calibrating to the world we have made her. State sanction terror. The always looming, always implicit threat that it could be you, but your not one of those ‘illegals’ but what if, one day you aren’t ‘legal’ enough’ enough aligned with the truth I want you breathing?
It doesn’t matter. I see her being taken from me, or as more likely me being taken from her (which is more terrifying your child being carried away in a government vehicle or you in her place in yours, watching in patch of dusty earth as the safety blanket we have been breed to trust implicitly as a species for millennia is taken from you by people all dressed the same, all screaming over one another trying to figure out where to ‘take it’
Parents are going to compound 12, but there is no more room of the kids end, judge has been riding them hard on that, so I guess she’ll have to go upstate, maybe that manager up there in compound 72 has a space for another kid. They’ll figure it out. Or they won’t, because they don’t care and there is not a goddamn thing you can do about. The rule of law is a uniform with a gun attached to it.
Its okay, though. I’ll find her again. Maybe in a few days, maybe a few weeks. Maybe she slips away, a misshuffled paper in bureaucratic clockwork. These things happen. Maybe she never arrived at that compound upstate. Maybe they’ll find her in a locked basement of a pedophilic whorehouse. Maybe I’ll find her in the mass grave right outside a long space of Arizona flatland. No context. Just a group of her and several dozen bodies tossed together in a menagerie of convenience. All those lives melted to ashen bone, the last six years a mystery beset with a grief so heavy were god to set it upon a man himself he would have called himself devil.
This is America. The one we were somehow convinced, coerced, made stupid enough to choose. This is where the drinking helps because when you turn off the TV off, shut off the phone, close the windows, pick up that perfect food of a well written book, and the first of the rum soaks in, drags you closer to yourself, but not so close as to run the letters into soup, you can almost forget.
But it’s still there.