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A tremor was felt rumbling through the land . . .

. . . fitful dreams interrupted, of mobs and protests, shrill cries, a yellow flag is waved in great swoops, festooned with the sign of the black pistol, there are other flags, secret meetings, solemn pledges, stockpiled cans and legal briefs, debates about deadbolt technology, “this is a fragment of the true gavel,” the police shouting at those other police, clutched documents, shoves, he is pushed back and forth trampling upon the pages, the fine glassware is smeared, icily quiet signing ceremonies with awkward protocol confusions, resignations, silences, “it’s like she’s cut us off,” rumors, threats, “the semester is cancelled,” “the payments are suspended,” strikes, evictions, shaking of heads, “but they won’t speak to him anymore,” crosses, ugly crosses, and crosses crossed out, sweet nostalgic reminiscence about the days of facebook, radio, and singing together . . .

We awake, the shaking stops, and yet, as in that scene with Jack Lemmon and the coffee cup from The China Syndrome , somewhere there is a man who feels the very slightest and yet oh-so-telling after-tremor.  Something is not right.

china syndrome image

Yes, “A spectre haunts America.” At least it does this American. Not, I think, the spectre of tyranny . . . . . . no, that’s the one for Europe . . . . . . for us, the nightmare’s name is:  civil dissolution .

But no, c’mon, it’s 99% forgotten in 9 seconds, it’s all normal, normal, and always must will be, coffee-schedule-and-career, my everyday fellow Americans, good-morning my dear, they can only take it so far, don’t you know, so pass the baseball page please, and then a glance at that IRS scandal story . . .

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