Erection

A modest bow of acknowledgement and gratitude to Jonelle Patrick

One Tuesday evening in November long ago, probably in 1988 but maybe it was 1992, I walked into a classroom to teach English. It was a night class. The students were mostly male, salaried workers in rumpled suits with laundry bags of exhaustion hanging under their eyes.

I smiled my perkiest smile and said, “Today is a special day in the United States. Does anyone know why?”

Heads were scratched and air was sucked and finally one brave fellow, striped necktie askew, looked up at me.

“You have an erection?”

Fighting the urge to look down to make sure, I walked to the chalkboard and wrote the word, spelled correctly, and hoped the issue would tuck its tail under its chin and fade into the ugly carpet.

And now, so many years later, on another Tuesday in November, decades and oceans away, I can only hope the current reign of terror will tuck its tail under its chin and make its way into the carpet.

But I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. Judging by the past four years, the current nightmare is unlikely to die a noble death or even attempt a scrap of dignity. With luck, the will of the people will capture it in a net and toss it out the window, ignorance, arrogance, bigotry and all, and it will get sucked into the annals of history, never to rear its ugly head again.

Let sanity reign.