I had one of those when I was about 5. I don’t remember where it came from, maybe a bank, but I was holding out the car window on the way home and the wind grabbed it. I looked for the damn thing every time I walked with dad around the block for a couple of years until we moved. I honestly thought I’d find it eventually, maybe in the drainage ditch or the little path of grass between the sidewalk and the road.
Wandered around downtown for an hour today. I saw masses of large, sweaty, slack-jawed people towing kids around and talking a lot but not saying a damned thing. Marrying thoughts of a country with that image just leads my mind to a nation slowly oozing into its own squalor, too enamored with itself to look up and start treading. Maybe that’s the cynical punk kid talking, or maybe that’s just some clarity and observation. I dunno.
I have no real connection to the “American ideal”. I know what it is, I know what our culture has decided to make it, and I know those are two separate thing. I’ve never seen either one. The places where I came from, and where I grew up, ceased to be the same when I left and I barely recognize them anymore. It’s not unnatural, but it severs what ties I had to ‘home’, wherever it was. The only real loyalties I keep are to the people I know and perhaps the place I am, and I suppose that counts for some kind of patriotism; but it’s not something I want to celebrate with funnel cake and traffic jams.