CONSTRUCTION (any gender, mid thirties to late life)
Folks, folks! Can I have a word for just a sec, just a sec-- hey! IS THIS A PROTEST OR A MOB? BECAUSE IF IT'S A MOB, THEN I CAN CUE THE POLICE RIGHT NOW AND PUT THEM INTO ACTION.
Okay, good. Thank you for settling-- somewhat. May I talk to you all for a sec? Just a sec? I know you're upset. I'm not surprised by that. So the question is WHY are we proceeding with the radiation? And we WILL proceed but I'd like to explain--
hey! HEY! Can I please talk, please, I won't be long, I promise, I just-- HEY, IS THIS A MOB?
Okay, thank you. I just want to tell you a short story. It's actually about me when I was growing up. It'll be quick and I think it'll help everybody here see reason.
When I was about three years old, my mother was driving us over a bridge. The car slowed down behind a long line of slow moving cars-- that was a new thing-- and I looked out the window.
You know what I saw? The bridge-- so it would seem-- was under attack. Soldiers in bright uniforms were using these weapons and machines to tear up the ground, blockades were everywhere, toxic steam and smells were poisoning the air -- so it would seem-- and the rest of our beautiful bridge was covered in plastic wrap, like a piece of garbage, like a dead body.
Well, I screamed and cried and my mother said to me-- just like I'm saying to you-- "I promise you, everything is alright. Everything will be bett--"
--Yes, yes, yes, I'm almost done, then you all can have your say. Thanks for you patience, I appreciate it--
So even though mom said, everything was alright, this attack, this destruction, this VIOLATION of our beautiful bridge, went on and on for days and weeks. But then--
But THEN one day all the attackers and rubble were gone. Suddenly there was a gleaming new bridge with smoother road, easy traffic and safer scaffolding. It was BETTER than before.
You know what was happening, right? There was no attack, just construction.
There are two laws of construction, my friends. One: The end result makes life easier and safer. Two: The process always looks like an act of destruction.
Now folks, your leaders, whom I proudly represent, your leaders debated for years and years as to whether we were doing the right thing with the radiation program. But we realized we had no choice: The Earth's atmosphere cannot support human life as it used to. We can't go back but we CAN adapt. The radiation and feels ugly right now. I myself get somewhat disturbed when I cough and that bright purple phlegm comes out. But I know that in one year-- LESS than one year, folks-- my system will be adapted. I and YOU will be able to breathe easier.
I've said my piece. Now your turn.
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes.
If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"