An unfortunate stream of my consciousness

[Trigger warning for gun violence and home invasion]

I took today off. I spent the afternoon running errands. Here's my brain between 3 and 5 local time:

[Ice-T is on NPR] "Law and Order is the worst. Why is everything on TV about violence?"

"Why the fuck is it always so hard to find tomatillos and corn tortillas in this town? How did I end up in such an awful place?"

[NPR is discussing the latest violent oppression in Syria] "What the fuck is it with those guys? And why are those guys in every country? Who the hell do they think they are?"

"Life is pretty good. Once I find tomatillos, I'm gonna try makin' some fish tacos. It's a nice day. Seriously, why do people have to be so mean to each other? Life is hard enough as it is, and it just doesn't need to be that way."

[I'm stuck in a massive traffic jam caused by an accident, listening to radio reports of another tornado watch.] "Bad things are going to happen, why not try to prepare for them, and help each other get through everything okay?"

[It turns out the accident wasn't.* I see the police have marked the locations of about ten shell casings. Presumably the shots were fired at whoever was riding what remains of the motorcycle under the guardrail.] "Fuck this shit."

Seriously though: What the fuck, Syracuse? What the fuck, Upstate New York? What the fuck, Rust Belt? What. The. Fuck.

It would be one thing if this was an unusual day. It wasn't.

Look, it's not just the little things, like having to go to multiple stores to find food I like, or being stuck in traffic because somebody probably died. Some days, it's a broken water main. (Actually, that's most days.) Some days, it's a reminder of how crappy our libraries are. Others, it's a reminder about our schools. Some days (lots and lots of days), it's some asshole breaking in to my car. Some days, it's being woken up at five in the morning by police officers, guns drawn, looking for the kids that are helping themselves to my apartment. Some days, it's my neighbor getting shot in front of my house. And then there are the things that happened more than six months ago.

It's hard to be optimistic about America when you live in a place like this. It's not that there aren't people here who are trying. There are. They are overwhelmed. They're trying, we're trying to create a place where people can live. A place where everyone can enjoy good food, diverse cultures, and nobody needs to get shot. We're failing. We're failing because those in power have abandoned us.

There are days, and this is one of them, when I feel like I'm living in Blade Runner, only with shittier food and better acting. I'd move, but have you been to America lately? It's hurting.

*UPDATE/CORRECTION 28 April: I've been looking for an official account of what happened on the interstate yesterday afternoon, and I haven't been able to find one. In other words, I can't conclusively say what happened. My guess is that it wasn't a shooting, but I can't say that with certainty, either.

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