|Apr/May 2011 Salon|
Photo by Niki Breeser Tschirgi
They threw a party for the ones who played by the rules and won, and then started to suspect that they'd been duped.
They threw a party for the ones who needed to believe that they had worked hard to get to where they had arrived, and had never gotten the recognition that they deserved, and then started to suspect that someone somewhere was laughing at them.
They threw a party for the Real American. The guy who always looked like a rube when he tried to dress up. The gal who stuffed her bra.
They threw a party for every kid who ever had an angry pimple on prom night.
They threw a party for all the boys who got boners when the bell rung in class and it was time to stand up. They threw a party for all the girls who gave it up because it was just too unbearable to think that he might stop paying attention.
And had never gotten over it.
They threw a party for the humiliated with long memories.
They threw a party for all the senior citizens who ever resented the youth of their children. For all the successful casualties condemned to maintain a certain standard of living with the taste of a lie sticking in their throats—who resented anyone who refused to swallow.
They threw a party for everyone you were ever afraid to end up becoming, and upon finding out that that is exactly who you had become, found yourself looking for someone to pay, and the means to cover up your shame.
They threw a party for all the Americans who found themselves suddenly without a fig leaf in the garden, naked before the very god who they had made make it a sin to not be exactly who they had become: bereft, and with no way out.
They threw a party for the people of the mirror, who needed to make someone pay for what they saw, and what they didn't see.