Alabama, 2014
June 19, 2020

Midnight

Midnight in Montgomery, Alabama. Six years ago, I parked in front of the First White House of the Confederacy and sat in the dark, staring at that awful house. My telephone said it got four stars on Yelp. The promotional materials said Jefferson Davis “was held by his Africans in genuine affection as well as highest esteem.”

A man pulled next to me in a beat-to-shit Honda with two inches of ash dangling from his lip. He gave me the finger. I got out of the car and walked towards the state capitol. I heard a woman say she went through a period in her life when she didn’t want to brush her hair. I gave a guy a dollar, and he said, “I didn’t know I was full-blooded Cherokee ‘til I was 35, and that fucked me up.” A long Thunderbird pulled up to the curb blasting Curtis Mayfield. Its doors popped open. The driver came around the hood and lifted a trembly old man in sky blue pajamas from the passenger seat and carefully set him in a wheelchair. The guy grinned from ear to ear the entire time, singing if there’s hell below, we’re all gonna go.

Pushing north, I scrolled through streets named after Hank Williams and Big Mama Thornton while the radio worried about leftists and alien abductions. Boulevards and cigar shops named after Zelda Fitzgerald, whose great-uncle built the First White House of the Confederacy. Back on Highway 82, I drove past a giant image of a handgun on a billboard: Report the piece and get the prize! Text THUG to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office. Jefferson Davis’s birthday is still a state holiday in Alabama.


Divide and Dissolve – Abomination

Abomination | Dero Arcade, 2018| Bandcamp

Plunging miles beneath standard-issue doom and drone, this is vantablack snarl and groan. From their website: “Divide And Dissolve are Takiaya Reed & Sylvie Nehill, a heavy two-piece band. They utilize drums, guitar, saxophone and live effects to create music designed to decolonise, decentralise, and destroy white supremacy.”

Each night in 2020 I'm writing a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I want to etch these days into my memory before I forget them. Before the world changes completely.
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