Chapter 1, Scene 1: Welcome to the New America
The scene was hot as they say on TV. You know? Like when a man dressed in a collared shirt is holding a mic and drops to the ground while combats around him exchange wizzing fire. It’s like a reality show. That’s why we eat it up in the press. People getting fucked up is what we feed on. The masses are always hungry for a good fight.
The camera crew and some asshole with a British accent escape into Barracks High as they called it, a freshly abandoned school surrounded by barricades splintered with mortar and artillery rounds. It was over. That’s all folks, as they say in the movies.
The world hasn’t gone to shit. The world has always been shit. The motives behind every war (or genocide) are inflated by the victors. No one wants to fall on the wrong side of history. But defeating an “evil” never comes without getting your hands dirty. The problem of today isn’t war. Brother have been killing brother since the beginning of civilization. The problem now is that we have no where to run. We’ve finally outgrown the Earth. We’ve reached capacity. The however billion of us that call this green sphere “home” are now trapped like birds in cages with bars that resemble borders. Our identities defined by the soils of our homelands. Our sentiments forged by brick walls that sprout like weeds from the countryside.
Man can’t take it any more. We’re imploding. The human race as a whole is experiencing an identity crisis. Our sheer numbers challenge the isolation of our thoughts. Like caged birds, we long to get out. Or else we lash out like unfed beasts, trying to seek a better life beyond the confines of our reality. That’s the funny thing about man. We either die for bullshit validation (like Allah taking mercy on our dismembered carcass or God shedding tears over the Arlington Cemetery) or die trying to make our own validation. I was part of the latter.
Don’t think I’m cool. Please. I’m not fucking cool. No one is cool. We are all saints and sinner in our own right. Not in some Catholic sense of the word, but in the sense that we are fucked up but beautiful. No wonder why man invented God. Who else would love us but some made up jackass in the sky?
If you think about it, the power lies in whoever is on the side of the delusion of the people. Whoever is in tune with the assumed reality of the masses controls: the guns, the money, the media…I mean, what more do you need for a functioning government?
“Stay tuned for more heat from the scenes on what may just be…” says the news caster after cutting in from a commercial for unemployment lawyers. The camera cuts tight to his face, his neck sliced by the edge of the shot “…World War Three.” The words echo from the television speakers and crackle like mortar fire in the air.
“Have you been medically treated for incontinence or prolapse of the genital area? Well you may qualify…” an ad cuts quickly onto the television screen. “The FDA has issued warnings about the dangers of trans-vaginal mesh and you may stand to receive a hefty settlement from your complications.”
Ernest stabs a cigarette into the ashtray. His eyes are red and his breath smells like whiskey. The bar is practically empty besides us. The windows still boarded up. The floors blackened with gun powder. “Yes,” I say swallowing a gulp of room temperature beer. The machine gun I just yanked off of a dead comrade strapped to my back.
“Call now to take advantage of this opportunity for compensation. Again the number is…”
We each slap down a box of bullets on the table. An ample trade for a pretty decent buzz. The bartender smiles and says “be safe.”
“We will,” says Ernest. I say nothing.
“If your doctor performed a trans-vaginal surgery that resulted in complications such as tearing, swelling, leaking or other life threatening conditions—CALL NOW!”
Ernest jimmies open the deadbolt lock on the barroom door and ducking under the bus station turnstile that was transplanted to the tavern entrance. The heavy titanium door slams behind us. It echoes from the dumpsters and homeless shelters in a dismal ally way. I light a cigarette and follow. Muffled behind the door you can hear a bullshit British accent mutter “Now back from the fire on the lines…”
This is the new America.