Lost For Words

It’s strange. I need to write something, something timely, pertinent. There are eight blog posts ready to go in my blog folder, yet none of them are timely, none of them address our current situation. In that, they seem meaningless, almost flippant.

But I don’t know what to say. I’ve never been in a political situation quite like this in my life. Yes, I was born in the middle of WWII, but what did I know… even the Korean War blew by us tykes like a bad rumor. Yes, there was Viet Nam, Yes President Kennedy and his brother were both shot and killed, yes there was Watergate, yes Reagan was shot, and yes, there was 9/11. Should all those happenings in one’s lifetime prepare one for what is happening right now, 1/13/21?

You would certainly think so. But 379,000 people in the U.S. have died of the coronavirus in the last 11 months, and our Capitol building in Washington, D.C. was overrun just a week ago by domestic terrorists. Our democracy has been pushed to the tipping point at least twice in the past month, and there are new threats to take it over on Jan. 20th. We have a fairly berserk egomaniac as president for 6 more days, and a congress who can’t/won’t remove him.

Okay. That seems like a fairly historic situation in our country’s history. Over 3,000 deaths in our country to Covid-19 every day, a madman for a president and a Republican party that refuses to hold him accountable… yes, I’d say that this particular time in our history pretty much blows anything in my lifetime out of the water. Even Pearl Harbor… you remember how much that single event changed so many lives forever. And as a cherry on this disastrous dessert, I’m sitting here in the dark, with only the light of my laptop screen, as we’re having one hell of a wind and rain storm here on the island, and the power has been out for an hour now. It’s actually humorous, in a sort of sick, warped way, teasing one to think, “How much worse can it get?”

I don’t like the answer I’m getting to that question, which is “worse still.” In my heart, I know that it’s probably true, that the worst is still ahead of us. It’s like a bad drunk, where you end up fighting with your best friend, break up the living room of someone’s beautiful home, hurt several other people, then wake up the next morning, realize what you’ve done, and have this horrendous hang-over that lasts for days.

Trying to put some sort of skewed perspective on all this, I’m left in the dark… literally. I’ve heard the news for the past year, all the interviews. I’ve looked into the history of our country (which is not very pleasant reading, by the way) and even looked into the history of civilization, which, as a college student, I dodged like the plague. Heh. After all that, I’ve learned nothing that sheds light on our present national situation except this – this is what happens to all civilizations eventually. All we’re doing is repeating history in a way most appropriate for any powerful nation in the 21st century. In this particular case, hindsight is not 20/20. Well, maybe it is. If so, I now deem our hindsight to be blind as a bat.

I’m not going to even mention how racial I think much of this is… like white power trying to make one last stand before succumbing to the eventual truth that they are slowly losing, and will now continue to lose their power.

The wind is still howling. It rained really hard earlier. I’m sure the wind blew some tree over a major power line somewhere on the island… it’s happened before. But tonight feels different from the other times. We are not safe any more, our politicians in Washington and around the country aren’t safe any more. Our country, our Democracy, our way of life is not safe any more. It’s slipping away, and we don’t seem to be able to save it. There are lines of cars waiting at food banks in the major cities. There are more homeless people right now than we will admit to. Many of our hospitals across the country are overrun with coronavirus patients. Over 3000 deaths a day now, a thousand more every day than Pearl Harbor’s one day loss.

I’m not afraid. But I am in awe, in awe of what’s happening in our country, in awe of our collective stupidity in not seeing it coming and being able to fix it, stave it off. I’m in awe that, for us out here on an island, life seems to go on fairly peacefully, while California burned last year, the Gulf Coast was smashed to ribbons by 5 huge storms, that the curtain protecting the rich, white politicians has finally been completely pulled back, exposing their greed and hunger for power and wealth. And while most, if not all of them are millionaires, still they are so fearful of losing their grip on their positions… what they have done in the last 3 years is so incredibly despicable. Yes, I’m in awe of all that.

In awe, and still in the dark. Guess I’ll finish my drink, check on our new puppy, Hemingway, then stumble to bed with the aid of a flashlight. Probably I’ll sleep fine, as this helpless feeling I have, to change anything about this crazy world of ours, doesn’t seem to affect my ability to simply check out from it all in our cozy bed. And after all, what did Scarlet say again? Oh yeah, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Steve Hulse