Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dystopia


Anaïs Perry
It must be the weather.  Surely it is.  Summer here is always dull and flat and ugly.  The streets are barren.  Everything is beat--and not in the beatific way.  Air conditioners hum as the hothouse world grows moldy.  Rot and decay abound.  Any hopes of glamor are dashed.  The dress of those poor people you do see is over-washed utilitarian.  There is no point in getting dressed.  There are no smiles.  Jaws are set in anxious irritation.  Anyone with money or sense has fled, if nothing more, to the beaches.  Water and alcohol are the only refuges.  And money.  If you are a working slob or a wage slave to the factory as I am, there is only the long, grim waiting for an end to the horror, waiting on the next catastrophic storm that will not cleanse but bring pestilence and disease and recurring misery.  This is, as Trump likes to say, shithole country.  The lakes are toxic.  Even the beaches are plagued with sea lice.  Algaes of all hues attack the digestive and respiratory systems.  Native plants die as new exotic weeds take root.  Developers are moving at light speed to build that last giant monstrosities on the remaining bits of spoiled land before the big crash.  Cars creep along decrepit highways as radiators boil.  The poor sport tattoos and weirdly designed haircuts and aggressive neighborhood attitudes in defiance.  The rich stay behind country club walls.

It looks and feels like the 1970s.

I've never been much of a dystopian.  I'm having a very hard time.  I sleep through as much of the day as I can and narcotize myself at night.  I try to remember my dreams of being a flaneur, but there is no place to wander.  I imagine it is me, my situation, stuck inside these padded rooms, my world shrunken to a few hundred feet with an unescapable "Gunsmoke" soundtrack, commercials selling grave plots and catheters.

"They never show old people on these shows, do they?"

She'd rather watch reruns of "The Golden Girls."  She laughs along with the laugh tracks.

I can't look in the mirror.  I shrivel.  I shrink.  I fade away.  Going. . . going. . . .

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