Archive for the ‘Not so true’ Category

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A win or a loss

March 24, 2017

Do you consider it a win or a loss? She stared so hard into her drink, he wondered if her gaze might crush the ice.

He considered it a win that he wasn’t in the Congressman’s office, but was instead shoulder to shoulder with a raucous Friday night crowd. He considered it a win that she was talking to him in the first place.

I need to know if I should still talk to you, she said.

There are no winners at all right now, he said. Just people who can sleep at night and those who can’t.

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What’s best for the women

March 23, 2017

We know what’s best for the women, the Congressman said.

We know what they don’t need, said another.

It was a day when aides brought water in clear glasses and briefing documents, and the world changed, slowly, after much discussion. But on this day, they talked about mammograms, births, deaths.

How are we going to make sure what we’re planning is enough if we haven’t talked to the women involved? asked the second Congressman.

One thought of his mother. Another of his sister. Another, his wife.

Well, said the first Congressman, they’d back us. They know we’re right.

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Time to act

March 22, 2017

The bridge soared high above the parkway, and she wondered why people never chose to jump from it, to leap toward the unforgiving landscape below. People ran, walked, stared straight ahead, but did not stop to consider what could be, how things could end so suddenly.

Above her, a military helicopter shredded the sky. The sunlight was growing soft and golden, but she could not let that distract her from the challenges at hand. It was time to hurtle toward whatever rushed at her. It was time, finally, to act.

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No relevant skills

March 19, 2017

Do you know why he hired him? she asked. The new employee in question had no relevant skills, and did not, it seem, even have the right skills to figure out how to do the job.

He’s a friend, her colleague said. They have trusted each other for a long time.

She thought about that awhile, about all the things that would go undone, and, even more troubling, about all the things that would be done wrong.

What does that mean for us? she asked, finally.

It means, no matter what, we’re screwed.

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Incoming missiles

March 18, 2017

They sat at the edge of the continent, looking out into black water.

Would we see it coming? she asked. Would we have any warning?

What would warning do? he replied. If death is inevitable, does it help to know when it will arrive?

But she could think of things, many things, that she might do with an extra five or ten minutes. She laced her fingers in his, still scanning the horizon for incoming missiles. She had never felt so threatened. She had never felt so safe.

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Tactics

March 16, 2017

In the early light, he heard the door burst open and he rolled, hoping for a way out, hoping for a mistake.

The men came at him with clubs and bats, and he didn’t have time to think much about his daughter, his wife. He mostly thought about how to protect his head, but then, sometime in the darkness that descended after three or four blows, he didn’t even bother with that.

Do you hear the feet rushing along the hallway? Do you hear them pounding bats into their palms? Listen closely. These tactics are not new.

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A flock of cards

March 15, 2017

I imagine postcards, gathering in mailboxes as if they were eggs waiting to hatch, then, when the mailman unlocks the front, flying like hatchlings, clumsy, then graceful, catching currents of anger and frustration across the country, gathering in giant flocks that fly in the shape of arrowheads, homing in on Washington carrying words etched like feathers along their bellies. They may all end up in a landfill. But for a brief moment, I imagine them darkening the sky over Pennsylvania Avenue, causing him to look out his window at the approach, making him wonder what powerful birds approach.