|George W. Bush cartoon with international justice symbol by Galehr|
I happened to have spent my entire primary and post-secondary education in America during Bush W's regime. My freshman year in High School started with 9/11, and by 2007, I fled to Cairo, Egypt, having had just quite enough of American life under Bush W. In the course of those seven fateful years, I lost a lot of hope in all political righteousness, voting and demonstration included. Our world will never be the same.
Departing from the downtown train, a friend blanks off in another direction, holding her pistol and handing one to my wife. She’s gone to shoot two of my childhood friends. “I’ll only kill one,” she says. All the while, I feel a similar fate between my wife and I.
|One of Four Freedoms Murals by Norman Rockwell|
Entering an emptied church in a historic neighborhood, I kneel down on unfinished concrete flooring, bare as my back as I lift my shirt. My wife then raises her pistol and commences to shoot me straight through above my stomach, below my lungs, a perfect shot, just so much that I’ll survive while experiencing the bitter pain of the act and my coursing blood. As we exit the building room, outside on the street corner, our friend rushes over, hiding her pistol in a bag.
|La Chapelle de La Madeleine à Malestroit by Alexandre Bloch|
At my feet, I see a broken skull. I can see the smile of my childhood friend eerily emanating from the skinless mouth. Supposedly, the other under our friend’s thumb, my other childhood friend, got away like me, shot clean through the back.
- excerpt from "The Pleasant Man"