I try to consider it as reclaimed. Reformed. Reeducated. When I found it it wasn’t on a good path but that’s not its fault, it was merely a product of its environment. That environment technically being the factory in China that mass produced it and then slapped the GOP elephant logo on it. Initially I felt like a traitor to my entire system of beliefs when I tried the hat on at the second-hand store. Before I tore the logo off I could hear whispers of socially stunted Republican policies and smell the vile, ignorant rhetoric wafting up from our southern border as I looked in the mirror. But as repulsed as I was, I really needed a new hat, and this one was––shudder––a great fit.
“The Lord Jesus Christ can help. He sees the way that you are and he doesn’t judge. He loves you. He loves all of his children, of which you are most certainly one. Come to our service this Sunday and let his love guide you away from the dark path that you’re on.” She held out a pamphlet to the homeless man struggling to get to his feet. He’d just been asleep on the sidewalk, body teetering over the edge into the gutter, when the Twenty blew past and startled him awake.
“Here, take this. All of our information is in there. Dates, times, email address, suggested bible verses, all that.” The homeless man grunted as he made another attempt to stand. The woman smiled, patiently holding the pamphlet in front of his face as he collapsed back to his knees. From across the street a man ran towards them, stopping to help the homeless man up. “Yah goddamn idiot.” The man from across the street said to her before returning to the other side.
Chocolate Fudgequake, Double Stuffed Banana Split, S’mores and Bacon, Triple Distilled Gravy, Old French Fries Stuck Between Couch Cushions––the flavours of protein powder in the nutritional supplement store seemed to be trying their very best to convince the consumer that, sure, you’re working out and getting in shape now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it without a constant reminder, in shake form, of the diet that forced you here in the first place. Those flavours are like vaping to quit smoking or having a picture in your wallet of the ex that stomped your heart into the dirt (a week before your goddamn birthday and three days after your mom was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis, for Christ’s sakes) while you go on Tinder dates; essentially using the spectre of a vice as training wheels as you start down a new path, just hoping they’re sturdy enough so you don’t veer off of it into a lake.