Sunlight scattered by a ceiling of clouds, then again by the curved slant of pickup truck windows into a diffuse winter light that, even in April, recommends the selection of a heavier coat, but then again it may be an illusion produced by the the narrow scene within sliding door windows, grey weather, and the bleak honk of geese that synesthetize exhaustion at fighting this drab conflict, dragging on in the Eastern European theater of the Cold War raging in my mind: a half-familiar, impossibly foreign place borne out of the frying pan and into the smoky smoldering coals of the fire, a vast inaccessible landscape of what could have been, but never was; conflicting propagandas, neither quite reality, just incomplete scenes sketched from selected subsconcious fears and ignorances repeated constantly to justify what is while everyone here desperately searches for the truth, for some reality, for a moment of peace among fellow Americans armed to the teeth against the infinite threats of the imagination, yet consistently outgunned by reality, the trigger perpetually jammed unless, of course, the barrel is pointed toward the gunman’s temple. But isn’t suicide the inevitable result of violence? Optimism is a blessed insanity. Bless the smooth-faced, smiling sheriffs of these dystopian purchasing corrals, twirling their barcode scanners like futuristic pistols, surely acting jauntier than they feel because hey, it’s a job. We all arm ourselves against something, and we’re always fighting against the odds, leaving defeat willfully undefined, lest we meet it too readily.