Woke up this morning feeling half past dead, with this silly rock lyric running through my head.
The mailman was early and gave me a shout about something I had no idea about.
Then the garbage man jumped in screaming “Make America Great Again.”
Finally, I had my morning coffee and started thinking in prose once more – though my rock rhyming lingered for a while, that’s for sure.
I switched on the radio – that ancient listening device – and caught Humble Pie’s “30 Days in The Hole.”
Then I felt at home.
Suddenly it all made sense. I wasn’t having a lucid dream. This is reality. In the year 2018 we are now officially through the looking glass.
At the county level in Montgomery, there are politicians who finally understand it is best not to engage trolls on social media. The county wants to get Amazon’s second campus in Montgomery County, but won’t approve necessary road improvements to make it happen.
Meanwhile in Takoma Park, the smog is thick and furious as the city council there bans all nuclear weapons – as if that were an overwhelming problem there. “It’s symbolic,” we’re told. Others with some common sense merely see it as pointless. Meanwhile the NRA is screaming to make handguns cheap and plentiful, along with semi-automatic assault rifles as students continue to get gunned down across the country. Rick Santorum thinks instead of protesting gun violence students would be better off learning CPR and others continue to promote the idea that more guns equals more safety.
Try telling that to those living in a war zone where everyone is heavily armed. If reality is starting to feel like an LSD flashback from the early 80s, then I’m right there with you.
That feeling was enhanced by my visit to my usual hot caffeine dispensary when I asked for a vanilla cappuccino “Bone Dry.” The barista feigned interest and poured me a large cup of milk with a couple of shots of espresso added for good measure instead. As I explained the concept of “Bone Dry” by saying, “Two shots of espresso. A shot of vanilla and a small dollop of foam,” the barista remade the drink exactly as she made it previously. “No milk. Please,” I said. “Just a small dollop of foam.”
“That’s not right.” she returned.
“That’s not the way you make it,” she explained to me, not only forgetting the concept of the customer’s always right, but completely blowing the idea of communication.
I walked out of the caffeine dispensary to find a local police officer arguing with someone who’d apparently walked back to his car to find a parking ticket under his windshield.
“I meant to be back here on time,” the driver said. “That should count.”
I wanted to say, “I meant to smile at your ignorance so that should count.”
I minded my own business though and the police officer nodded and politely offered there was little that could be done now since the ticket was in place.
The driver threw the ticket to the ground. I guess it was meant to be a dramatic gesture, but the ticket lazily floated to the ground, ruining the aggressive display of emotion.
Upon return to my office I read another letter to the editor declaring I was the “son of Satan” and a “libtard,” who couldn’t wait to get his “George Soros money.”
After I downed my shot of caffeine sunshine and read my latest professional insult I then began the arduous task of sorting through the day’s news.
“This is the slowest news day of the entire Trump presidency,” someone texted me.
Slow, of course being a relative term. There’s been nothing slow in this country of chaos since the 2016 elections.
I’m left babbling arcane rock lyrics every morning while watching life unfold like a Mad Magazine parody outside my front door.
The generation that said you couldn’t trust anyone over 30 is now the generation you cannot trust because we’re over 30. Hell many of us are over 60. We sold out. We became the nasty old guys screaming at the kids to stay off our lawn.
Worse, we’ve become the generation armed to the teeth ready to shoot the kids dancing on the front lawn. In a world of endless possibilities that existed to us after the end of the Vietnam War we chose the most destructive, the least productive and most paranoid adventure one can imagine. We made our own Hell on Earth and left it for our children to cleanup. If that doesn’t sound like a scary LSD hangover then I don’t know what does.
Any moment I keep thinking I’ll wake up and it’ll still be 1980 and a future of hope will stand before me.
Then maybe I’ll at least understand why I keep singing “The Weight” and “30 Days in the Hole” in my head.