TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER
an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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During the Reagan administration, I didn't pay attention to the news nor understood that history was an often monstrous beast. Instead I played hopscotch and jumped rope during recess, blissfully unaware of the dread my Auntie felt, clucking over the newspaper as she sipped coffee during sullen Seattle mornings.
Now I am my Auntie, beetle-browed and crouched over newsprint, a creature that hoots and shouts, outraged.
This is a history/one out of many/a history being made/history reported and taught and paid for/this is a history made by those who tout themselves as paragons and defenders of the American way/whose American way?/a history made by desirable citizens, of course/heterosexual/white/upper middle-class/men/ pockets fat with multinational corporate money.//
Audre Lorde remembers the night of Martin Luther King's assassination:
"It was more than pain. The horror, the enormity of what was happening. Not just the death of King, but what it meant. I have always had the sense of Armageddon and it was much stronger in those days, the sense of living on the edge of chaos. Not just personally, but on the world level. That we were dying, that we were killing our world—that sense had always been with me. That whatever I was doing, whatever we were doing that was creative and right, functioned to hold us from going over the edge. That this was the most we could do while we constructed some saner future."