Not Sure What to Write? Breakthrough for the Foreseeable Future
You better find something you care about enough to write it. This man doesn’t care about you. This umasked creep was in the Mountain Heart parking lot yesterday, Mountain Heart clinic where I – and many others much older and damaged than I am – go for medical care. I asked him if I could take a picture of his truck. He puffed up and posed for me. (note visible Fla. license plate). I put my phone away and said, “I’m eighty and if you have fuckin’ killed me by not wearing a mask, then fuck you.”
He maintained his white supremacist calm – it is one of their tactics – and said, “That’s not how the disease works.” Later, I asked the Mountain Heart staff to go speak to him. A young man came to the door, looked out and said, “We can insist on masks inside, but we can’t do anything about the parking lot.”
We have a mask mandate in Flagstaff. I thought about calling the police, but didn’t. Not because I don’t trust them, but because I suspect they have bigger fish to fry than this nasty and ignorant minnow. Later, I spoke with a friend who lives in Prescott, Arizona. She told me that every time there is an even faintly liberal demo in their big town square, the Right arrives with their guns. They even circled women celebrating the anniversary of the Equal Rights Amendment. Unarmed women.
One of the strongest weapons the Right possess is our feeling helpless and useless. They don’t.
Right now, the one activity that makes me feel useful and powerful is writing. So, here I am. I challenge you to write about what matters to you – whatever it is – and send your word to us/me at email@example.com. You matter. We matter. And, here is Lynette Sheppard, a woman who knows much about what matters:
Island Coffee Roasters is nearly empty this afternoon. I order; then drop onto the couch that smells of old vinyl and mildew. I am grateful just to sit. My grandmother used to say that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. I didn’t know what she meant until now. I’m being crushed. Some days, I almost can’t breathe.
Children in cages, viral tweets, out-of-control plague, massive storms, old white men debating our fates while people die.
The barista sets my extra-hot latte on the tiny table next to the couch. “Here you go, hon.” “Thanks,” I whisper. I take a sip and the tightness in my chest loosens. I unzip my garage-sale Hello Kitty backpack. I rummage through it for notepad and pen so I can write my way out of the heaviness. The plastic wires holding pages of the notepad have loosened and I feel the edge stab my finger. Ouch! But it’s not the wires. It’s a ring.
A milky opal ring that I’d lost years ago. I bought it for its kayak shape and watery secrets. I hold it up to the sun’s rays streaming through the window. The creamy stone flashes scarlet, turquoise, citrine. I slip it on my finger and tilt it in every direction. Brilliance. Foxfire. Meteors.
I open my notepad and begin.
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