In time for the Holiday, a Story in Three Parts, inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Imagine a time, before Food Stamps and TANF (or whatever you want to call it), before “Welfare”, before County Relief, before Ellis Island, before Settlement House. A little girl finds herself in The Middle of North America, both of her parents dead. A first Christmas in a new City, in a new Country, on a new Continent. Alone? In a community of nuns in a place that created a home for her, as best they could.
Imagine, home gone, in a Flood, in a Fire. A first Christmas in a new place. Worse than it had been, better than it was. A hope for a better and a brighter future.
Imagine, home gone. Not Mother Nature, not incendiary bombs. No Act of God, No Act of War. Bulldozers, bought and paid for by your own government. The Fifties, the Sixties, the Seventies, even, . . . . How many had a place to live? How many were on the Street, or Worse? How many were dead? How many would die in the next Year? I guess if you don’t know them, if they aren’t your friends, your family, it doesn’t matter, does it?
The bullets fly, as they do every day. Another young person dead in a Drive By, a Home invasion, an argument at a party gone wrong. It’s 1990 and we’re all used to it. Which is good because it will be awhile before the Crack Wars are over.
Time to party like it’s 1999, because it is. The Go-go 90’s and everyone has a huge house with granite counter tops and a bathroom for every bedroom and an SUV and a timeshare. Does it get any better than this?
It’s been just over three months, we’re still numb as a Nation. Hitting the Skies for the Holidays, a post-Modern American tradition, a source of freedom for a Generation raised on the notion of Globalism is Good, has become not just an intrusive hassle, but a cruel reminder of a hard truth—we’re not that liked. Really. It won’t take long until we’re back to Business as Usual, Big Houses and Big Auto and it’s all good and nothing’s changed.