For all that’s left in my wake, I hold onto hope. I cling to it like a tiny captured ember. I curl up and gently blow on it, trusting it will be ready when a piece of kindling happens to fall into the pit. I hope those closest to me understand. I hope they won’t leave. I hope they know how much they help—even when I can’t show them that they are. I hope I don’t lose my mind.
As fourth-graders, we stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. None of us knew the history of what we were aligning ourselves with. Our teachers left out huge portions that would sour the words of that pledge in our mouths. Then again, what teacher wants to console a classroom of fourth-graders after they tell them the United States Army killed eight hundred horses just a few miles from the school’s doorstep?
“Are you insane?”
That isn’t the best question to ask your wife as you’re getting ready for bed, but I asked it as soon as I spit my toothpaste out. I had asked it half in jest—only half.
She said she wanted to get up an hour early to go put gas in the car—after she put $20 in the tank earlier that day, but, according to her, it was at the wrong gas station—and get a cup of coffee. I would have just tried to sleep that extra hour and not worried about it. Caffeine addiction is strong.
It’s little things like this that keep me interested. When the little things cease to be interesting, that’s when your relationship is doomed, or so I hear. Twenty years in and I still find them interesting—I’ll count that as a win.
The statements I made were “inappropriate and frankly insubordinate.” That’s what the email from the director said when I came back to work. Inappropriate and insubordinate, but not untrue. I could see how the statements I made could be construed as insubordinate by those in a position of authority. I even agree with their word choice—insubordinate. What a great word. What a fitting definition.
When you look at the word in the dictionary they break it apart like this: in ּ sub ּ or ּ di ּ nate
My brain, being owned by a slightly narcissistic personality, immediately picked out, “Nate.” Being named Nathan, I’ve endured my fair share of being called “Nate.” It used to bother me, but as you get older you become more selective about what to be bothered by. If a new acquaintance slips up and calls me “Nate,” I generally let it slide.
We have a trustee openly calling members of the public and fellow trustees immoral. Then she encouraged people to openly testify their transphobic and homophobic viewpoints in an effort to sway board members to form a policy that would exclude members of the community from having programs tailored toward their needs and books and materials that represented them. We had a protest directed at teenage program participants in Post Falls followed by several newspaper articles, nearly a dozen published opinion letters, and then another protest against teenage participants for a library program in Hayden where an armed man was arrested. That recap takes us through November 21st.
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