Independence Day. We’re on our own.

June was not the month I expected. In one respect or another, I spent the entire month with a toothache. My teeth are crumbling, despite my best efforts to care for them. Due to genetics, as I approach half a century in this life, my teeth are just quitting, cracking. This year, I even lost one that couldn’t be saved. I truly mourn the loss of number 3 and the havoc that the loss wreaked upon my productivity and good humor. This would be a terrible turn of events under any circumstance, but I have been spending untold hours in the chairs of dental professionals during an historic pandemic. Just take that anxiety meter up a couple of hundred notches. But it couldn’t be helped. I suppose I should be grateful that these problems descended upon me in June and not April, but this is a cup I’d have just as soon had pass me by.

Despite my enthusiasm for 2020 at the outset, I can say confidently that I would just as soon have had the whole thing pass me by entirely. This is an Independence Day like none I can remember. I have no will to celebrate the shallow archetypes of American freedom. In truth, I’ve had it up to here with my grotesquely stupid country. The truth has been laid bare for all to see and there is still a willfully ignorant mass that looks the other way.

Even my teenage daughter is ashamed to be an American today. I told her so many times as she grew up that she need not stand and pledge allegiance to the flag. America broke my heart more than a decade ago and it’s been a festering wound ever since. Never more than now. Sadly, now my daughter knows what I mean. I didn’t have to feel that way at her age. Perhaps the lie was as big then, but it seemed harder for a kid to recognize. That’s all over. Now there is no truth. Everything is true and nothing is true.

Americans are dying unnecessarily from a disease their government couldn’t be bothered to manage. Americans are brutalized and murdered by police in the light of day, and the government lies right to us from the top down. The breakdown is underway. Americans are so saturated by propaganda and fear that they can’t think straight. America is lost, perhaps for good. It happened so fast. Despite our best efforts to care for it, it’s just quitting, cracking. The lie was in our genetics. Could we be blamed for believing the very stories we were told about our country as children to conceal the lies about freedom and liberty and equality? The crumbling was inevitable.

This day is no longer about celebrating our independence. It’s about being left to our own devices. It’s a cold, hollow feeling, and it’s damn real.


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