He had always wanted to be oppressed.
Riding the train thru the central city, he’d see the grinding poverty, the ramshackle apartments and empty lots overgrown with weeds and dream of being part of it. The people who lived there were too busy with their pathetic struggle to work and fit in to understand their good fortune. He’d happily exchange his boring trust fund baby status with any of them. He despised his family. Showing up this past summer with a Black girlfriend was priceless. Funny thing, he knew better than she did what it was like to be black. She’d never read Fanon. She’d never even heard of George Jackson.
Serpent Woman glided thru time and space, the rhythmic clicking of claws echoing within a temple in one of her realities. Squatting at a favored vantage point, she modestly arranged the snakes dangling from her waist around herself and began to observe. The panorama varied from Pleistocene forest to barren wasteland, from planetary beginnings to the end of existence. Empires rose and fell, flowers bloomed and died. Time was meaningless to an aspect of God’s divinity; an eon no different from a millisecond to the one who gave birth to the pantheon of the universe. Making her way within the continuum, dual serpent heads take brief notice of an insignificant speck of malevolence, the unfortunate malefactor soon to become an object of divine amusement.
..like roaches in bottles!
It was his tagline. Anyone with a brain knew the enemy was capitalism, and the struggle was all about class. Race was a distraction used by those with small minds who lacked the courage to stand up and fight. They didn’t understand they were doing to the movement what cointelpro had done to them. If we didn’t stick together we’d all be like roaches in bottles.
Tonight’s crowd was pretty decent. There were several black and brown faces there, he’d finished with his fist extended in a power salute but had been disappointed to see none of them had returned it. A couple of brothers and latinos nodded at least.
…..like roaches in bottles!
Pushing open the door, he saw the same cartoon character sweeping the floor. You couldn’t really tell if she was young or old, hair braided into pigtails, wearing a long peasant dress. He’d tried to speak a little Spanish to her once or twice, but she hadn’t looked up at him, just stopped sweeping until he moved away. Like a mindless peasant, lives life on their knees while the capitalist class crushes them. No fight, no life. Already a roach in a bottle.
He knew it was wrong but he couldn’t help it. He’d begun taking his frustration out on the little cartoon character. He’d pinch her roughly as he passed, or bump her into the wall. She’d just stop sweeping until he passed, no fight in her at all. Like so many of them. Roaches in bottles.
This time he roughly yanked her braid as he passed. Had he turned around and looked back he would have witnessed the child morph into a shimmering maelstrom of snakes and flaccid breasts and skulls, standing on clawed feet.
Turning the light off, he was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow. His dreams were cloaked in darkness, unseen hands taking hold and forcing him thru some sort of doorway. Trying to scream, all he could do was thrash about.
He awoke to find his nightmare just beginning.
The postman trudged up the stairs, greeting the child sitting on the top step with a nod and wave. She smiled back at him. Pretty little girl, Indian looking. Braids, long peasant type skirt. She was holding something in her hands. Some kind of jar. Bug inside it. Seemed to be desperately trying to escape.