Considering the Dallas Shootings in a Bar with Strange Faces
It was the day after the Dallas shootings when eleven police officers were shot, five killed. I walked into a downtown dive bar in Los Angeles, sat on one of the barstools next to the gaming machine. I ordered a Blue Moon topped with a slice of orange and watched Maury Povich on the TV mouth revelations to astonished guests.
The room grew from a couple folks to a dozen or so, all apparently from different backgrounds. A Latin American woman juggled drink orders and come-ons from mens who were old enough to be her father. In the smattering of dialog that I picked up in that room, there was concern of the crisis in Dallas (the latest spear into the heart of America) as an old bearded man in a Hawaiian shirt ratted off his sexual conquests between here and Pasadena.
It was a hot day and I was drenched in sweat, trying to discern the streets of L.A., separating the cavernous, film reel decorated train stations between West Hollywood and the busy intersections of downtown. I was lost in a heap of thought, staring into the memory of gargantuan trees and the windless maze of train tunnels and streets that were not familiar to me.
We were all below, beneath the Mount Olympus of celebrities, recalling our misinformation of facts that too place during that dreadful week in America. Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and those officers are closer to us in our struggle to adjust to the real facts of a crumbling society, and perched above it all, the faces of two presidential candidates with the audacity to lead a seemingly torn nation. But around me were flapping lips from different colored faces existing in harmony, drinking booze during a hot lunch hour. I knew that we were on the precipice of drastic action, a revolution on its way but when my chicken fingers and french fries arrived on a plate, nothing else mattered aside from the present moment.