To Meg, and the End of Capitalism
I’m waiting for the end of the story.
I guess they call it a punch line because without it, you’re stuck anticipating the impact, wincing at what might be. Everything hits harder in the future.
I dreamed last night it was a joke, or an accident, something unintentional and light. You walked back out of the woods confused at all the commotion, innocently unaware. I shook you. “Did you think this was a game?” I said. I was angry. “It’s been weeks.”
“I’m sorry,” you stammered.
“I thought you were dead.”
And I do think you’re dead.
But I’m not sure what that means. I’m not sure what it changes. I keep taking pictures of things to send to you. I keep imagining what you’d say in response to whatever I’m thinking. I can predict it with fair accuracy. I could tell you what era of you was doing the talking depending on what you’d say. A year ago, you’d have railed against the men involved, however they were involved, how this was another example of the chronic pain of patriarchy. A year before that, we’d have talked about the magic in it, about Kurt Cobain maybe, about how he’d like it if we left lavender blossoms by the river in Olympia.
A month ago, though, you’d have hardly even noticed. You’d have tried, but the spark of whatever was happening to me would be extinguished by the clouds rolling in over your mind.
You kept saying it was better, but I keep thinking, you were gone long before you were gone.
Is it time to mourn yet?
I want to say something about society now, about that’s how I feel about everything around me. Is it time to say goodbye yet? Can we drop the waiting and grieve now? I don’t know if I should polish up my résumé or start growing my own food. I don’t know if it’s worth moving back to New York. I don’t know if I should still pay any attention to the Democrats.
On that last note, I know you’d have said No.
Beyond that, I’m still waiting for the rest of the story.
Here we are, hanging in between the past and future, waiting for the ground we’re on to crack far enough that it’s time to…