Battered sidewalks of diesel are still better than the hospital rank stuck to my shirt collar. Its dark now but just 5:30pm and there is nothing else to do but listen to the rubber of my sneakers complain against my heel. There’s few things to set the mind right, but raw brown liquor and cold sudsy beer should at least be a start. It’s no wonder many seek solace in the spirits, they offer liberation of thought, deep intangible waves of synapses slowed to the gentle lap of a canoe’s wake in a stream.
A shot of whiskey enters and its warmth is comforting. Today there is more to worry about than politics, more to think about than right or left, plenty of other things to occupy my wandering mind other than the most recent Facebook post of an angry Hillary supporter. There is real hurt in this world, real pain, and deep suffering that can only be understood when experienced, and can only be empathized with if you have actually been there yourself.
My life is lived like a fly on the wall, an observer, a reporter to the way things look in my eyes. Whether it is sports or culture or both I can only tell the story as I personally see it. Today we have a divided country, not by what is only seen nightly on CNN, but listed on social media, portrayed by everyday people that you and I follow. The “right” won and they seem to incessantly wave an indignant finger in the face of the “left”. The “left” posts on how upset they are by the atrocities of our president elect, followed the next day by their recent outing to a professional sporting event. The smell of rotten privilege comes from both sides, a sickening sweet smell, potent and rife across the country, as unguents and oils are spread on our faces before we gas up our SUV.
Truth is, severe situations will make you think a little harder. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone will spellbind you into thinking a bit differently. I know my role and I am comfortable in it, I would jeopardize all but my own family to get where I know I want to be. I am passionate about my lot in life and although I strive to make it better, I strive first to make it mine.
If you are truly interested in changing this country, if you are interested in education, if you are currently upset with the general zeitgeist of America then I would shut off of the Facebook App and get involved. There are plenty of places and institutions to become involved with, plenty of groups that promote equality and individualism in safe environments. The key is education to those who never had the opportunity to be educated before and there are excellent programs in place for you to become involved with to help spread the word and do some good in your hometown, in your state, in your country. Whatever you are most passionate about there is a place for you. If everyone got involved a little we could all help a lot.
While the whiskey was warm the beer is cold and relaxation washes over me. I have to go back to that room, stand with my hands in my pockets and sweat and bite my nails. I know everything is going to be alright, but I’m not sure how I know. It’s just inherent, like I know the sun will rise, or that I’ll probably finish all the vodka at Annie’s later.
It just means it’s Twizzlers for dinner and solace in writing.
Anthony N. White is a writer currently living in Rochester, NY.
He can be heckled on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @Ruthieshusband