What do you like?

What do you like?
Taking away loved ones, other people, pets, etc.
Removing the obvious stuff that almost everyone likes–beach vacations, beer, ice cream…
What do you like?
What do you really like, that you didn’t just start liking because you wanted to impress someone?
What are you absolutely certain that you like?
Do you like being a person?
Is there any other time or place that you would prefer to live?
Maybe somewhere remote, distant and out of the harsh glare of angry politicians and the sun?
A place to fish, study leaves and mushrooms, drink cider and tea?
A place where nobody knows your name, but nobody cares if you are sitting in a corner slurping down your chowder?
A place where eyes are averted out of politeness, not fear or shyness or the understanding that eye contact means it’s time to f or fight.
You won’t find it around here.
Everyone in these parts is running around frantic and mad that the government is coming to take their guns away, that the Mexicans are coming to take their jobs and their descendants’ white skin away, that Jesus isn’t coming back fast enough to rapture them up and leave behind all of these brown people and liberals.
They are threatening and pushing and not loving their neighbors.
They talk about putting bullets in their enemies’ heads instead of praying for them.
They throw the first punch but sue unceasingly if you punch back.
If you don’t like it, you can leave, they say, with haunted eyes that tell you they don’t really like it, either, but they are possessed.
They are possessed with greed and their own brand of entitlement.
My great-great-great-grandpappy didn’t steal this land from the Comanches and die bravely in the Alamo so that the Mexicans and Indians and other brown-skinned people could all come back and take it from me.
I have every right to be here, because it’s my manifest destiny, per the Bible–the Bible tells me so–
That Jesus don’t love your kind nearly as much as he loves mine.
But, what do you really like?
Of course, you love your family and then there’s family of family that you can’t just up and leave behind.
There are too many promises–not that you’ve that great of a track record of keeping many promises, but, you have to start somewhere.
And so, you started keeping promises down here…
Even as you’d rather be almost anywhere but here.
You see, at the end of the day, what you really like ends up dying in the crossfire between all the things you really love and really hate.
There is no place for likable things in a land like this one.

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