dystopia: (n.) an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic.
it’s been a fucking trip, hasn’t it? watching it all unfold before our eyes in real time, streaming twenty-four seven on msnbc, through our feeds, blinks and notifies with another breaking news blip that you, being woke, will now question because you won’t know before you click where the fuck it’s even coming from, these days. and by fucking trip i mean fucking disturbing and by watching it all unfold i mean watching america burn while congress stands around with their proverbial dick in their hand. like. what in the actual fuck is even happening? is this thing on and are these motherfuckers even listening?
fuck, no, clearly, given they’re about to shove another so-called sure shot down our throats for 2020 which is what got us here in the first place. the prospect of which is terrifying, quite frankly, given the present state of fucked-up affairs and the fact that i’m not straight. and not cis. and not rich. and it’s not just dump truck donnie and his band of merry crooks and mascot turtle.
it is toddlers in cages, rounded up and then separated as their family members seek refuge here — answers to the question yet to be asked, where were they radicalized?; it is north k and russia and the strait of hormuz with war hawks at the helm, chomping at their bits; it is a pride month in which we’re assaulted, in which we’ve died in custody, in which the feed blips again with yet another murder of yet another trans woman of color. i’ve been sitting here almost every day, staring at the blank field before me, wanting to say something, anything, scream out into the ether, but find myself feeling the weight of this fucked-up pride while an ad for the rainbow edition of listerine scrolls by, available in the rainbow section at target, the rainbow section at walgreens, the rainbow section at your local safeway, whichever you prefer.
yet every morning i’m blessed by their beautiful, loving eyes, their hands and their mind and their art that all fill me and find myself grateful amongst the ruins, the ruins of our country and the ruins of my last year. wax together over coffee & news, the same at theirs as at mine, progression and fury and masked revolution, theory and art — my very great love. found in the dystopia.
“At least we’re alive to see it,” one of us once said.
i laid out my angst for them the other day, this angst mixed with joy and with anger, wonder at the miracle of beautiful Us amongst This.
“i’m worried about you,” they said.
they didn’t have to say more. i knew what they meant and i knew what i must do. just as i knew the night we made our first piece.
i’d pointed out the ross in emeryville as we drove past,
“that’s where they got us, when we went out for mike brown.”
“i would go out there with you.”
“i know you would.”
“and when the time came, i’d take your hand and we’d go.”
this is love in the dystopia.
all images — photographed by pan ellington.