... in the face.
This isn't the kind of world I imagined when I was in the fourth grade. That year seems to stick out to me, and yet I am not able to recall any of the details about it other than my skeletal octogenarian teacher, a strange blonde kid named Mike, and the Fantastic Sams bowl haircut (complete with circle bangs) I was sporting. I don't remember any friends that year, I don't remember what state my family was in or what I was interested in at the time. I faintly remember staring through a paper towel tube and pretending to be moved by a solar eclipse that I had no concept of - no concept of my place in the universe. But what I do know, what I am sure of... I didn't picture the world this way. I didn't imagine a place where fear, hatred, and threats were at the forefront of everyone's mind. I couldn't have even conceived that the universal truth would no longer be "we're all more alike than we are different" but instead "I'm afraid of everything and everyone that is different".
I hold my breath every time I refresh the CNN webpage hoping it won't be something else to be afraid. Silently willing that there will be some message other than "BLOWN UP - 31 DEAD" or "SCHOOL SHOOTING" or "THOUSANDS OF HOMES DESTROYED" or "FUCK WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE". I know there is good in the world, but why can't I picture those headlines? "NOTHING BAD HAPPENED TODAY THAT WE CAN'T OVERCOME TOGETHER" What would that look like? Why can't I even see it in my mind's eye - a place where I can conjure up an imagine of a purple donkey that just had green baby kitty quadruplets sharing a duplex with a bong-smoking dolphin - but no happy headlines. Silence is our indicator of good things now. No news really is good news, in fact it's the only good news these days. Shhhh. If we all be quiet we can hear that the world isn't falling apart. Shhhh.