Tuesday, August 15, 2017

15 August 2017

I want to write an honest sentence. “I don't want to kill people, but I will if I have to.” He's pulling guns off his body in a motel room in North Carolina as his computer screen cups a swastika to the camera. The pale white woman with large glasses asks him about the woman who was killed; he assures her that more will die. He speaks in dead logic, noun verb object, always an object of scorn. Animals. He says he misplaced a second AK-47 for a moment: “imagine that!” Gun grammar employs active voice, even when it's silent, wrapped around its owner like a mink stole. On a walk with my bright blue Schwinn, my father pulled me off the sidewalk into some trees. The police had gone into the woods on the other side where an empty car was parked. Just in case. Just in case someone should get angry and drive to the mall. Just in case someone had been radicalized by his faith. Just in case we were walking down that narrow brick-lined street at the wrong time. Just in case the car was weaponized. The woman with wide open eyes was killed; I want her eyes but not her end. To the martyr go no relics save some iPhone video, a couple of photos, some flowers laid inside a heart near Water Street. You can sit with a relic. You can sing to it in frail voices, but you cannot rest within the instant gratification of grief. Which is his gun of choice, the long or the short, the one in his pants or the one strapped to his ankle? American murderers are good consumers, just like the rest of us. “The master looks down on us every day from his mountain,” a black woman says. This is nothing new, it's just more visible. Identify this bearded white man, the one who beat up the after-school aide who pushes the swings so well. As fashion statement, hoods do better. My friend remembers turning a corner at UVA and finding himself face to face with the Dalai Lama. In the photo he appends, it's 5:11 p.m.; the Dalai Lama's right foot juts out in covered shoes. Allmost the dandy, he holds his dark robe up. “He smiled and nodded.”

--15 August 2017

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