I have spent the past three months watching a cheap fabric Stars and Stripes whither on its cheaper stick. And as opposed to the queasy feeling of seeing the Grand Ole’ flap, then shred, I saw something bigger in it.
Perseverance. Resolve. A type of faith.
I’m not political. I leave that to people both brighter and far dumber than myself. But I am a patriot.
And for any proper thinking iconoclast, where else would you want to live?
I love the scrappy Superman style origin story. Freedom at all costs. Battles of yore dot the Yankee landscape.
I love the current bloated Elvis Era of our present days: a self obsession based on the fact that as a country, we’re still teenaged. This is a country of backseat Romeo’s and gum snapping Juliet’s all awaiting our turn to live fast, die painless, leave a good looking lawn.
I am an American. There’s no mistaking the symptoms. Bravado. Xenophobia. Pride before, during and after the fall.
And every week I have watched this flag bear horrific winds and storms, cold that causes it to just glimmer with implied ice. The stripes have started separating from the stars. The top third has freed itself from the stick and reaches for earth, while in some less visible way, the earth reaches up with flowers to cold to bloom.
And I see that now….in this baby Spring 2015, that flag is us.
We’re coming apart at the seams.
The population, the many shades and creeds that make up this melting pot has become an indistinguishable mass of winter wear, cotton and wool and more scientific fabrics.
Our tempers are short. We read desperate.
Resolve Motherfucker. Resolve.
In days upcoming, this long winter will go forgotten. We will line the beaches and play too much Beach Boys. We will drink and laugh and make love on the dirt like a proper Springsteen song.
That worn out flag will be taken down and replaced with a fresh, new Walmart purchase. And I will salute that one too.
A symbol is perfect. It’s beyond the weather. We are not.
Be nice to each other. Summer is coming.