The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer:
Sour Frank offered his thoughts to our Saturday morning Arroyo Cafe Zoom crew. “I’m wondering who Joe Biden will pick to be in charge of combating ‘Online Malarkey.’”
“You peddled the lies, brother.” Rosa had no patience.” I’m muting you for a year. Didn’t getting COVID teach you anything?”
I laughed at Rosa’s innocent hope that Frank was capable of learning. “Frank, did you hear the news? Fox just accused Biden of inciting Americans to respect the rule of law — by holding criminals accountable.”
Oblivious to the joke, Frank cheered. “See! I told you Biden’s out to destroy America!”
And with that Lurlene asked us, “do any of you find it funny that the party that impeached a president over lying about sex with an intern is aghast at the thought of impeaching a president who incited a violent insurrection that killed five?”
Gonzales held up a matchbook. “I have here the world’s smallest book, amigos. ‘Profiles in Courage: 2020.’ Know what mi abuelo calls the mob that attacked the Capitol? Pillage idiots. A lot of the pillage idiots were from Arizona. I think dehydration causes brain damage.”
Carlos noted Biden has a bust of Arizona’s native son, Cesar Chavez, behind his desk.
Carlos said his favorite Chavez quote was “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.”
Lurlene noted that Arizona “sure needs help! Listening to Governor Ducey’s State of the State address was like listening to a sunny autopsy report issued by the murderer.”
Lurlene reminded us of how many of our friends and relatives had died from COVID-19. “It didn’t have to happen. We closed late and opened too early. Lies were at the center of it.”
Rosa smiled. “That’s why I couldn’t stop watching the inauguration. It felt so good. Like waking up from a long nightmare. ... Did you all see the sun came out and shined down on our nation’s Capitol?”
Carlos nodded. “Yup. The same Capitol that looked like ‘World War Z,’ crawling with zombies just a few weeks ago.”
Rosa leaned into her camera. “Seeing all the good that day — I felt the contrast more powerfully than ever.” She paused to cross herself. “America was touched by evil for four years. Our America! I still worry!”
I smiled back at her. “Don’t. The insurrectionists, the conned cosplay Confederates, are singing to the feds like squeezed canaries. The dragnet will grow. More criminals and their abettors on the inside will face justice.”
And when the hearings begin, it won’t look good for the squirming minority party when their treasonous radicals and terrifying crazies get grilled, tried and spat out.
It will just look worse and worse for the liar’s lickspittles. And where will their vulgar savior be? Exiled, desperately struggling to save his crumbling criminal enterprise, surrounded by endlessly shattering mirrors.”
Rosa confessed to us she wept alone in her jammies, touched by Joe Biden’s tears as he spoke of Maj. Beau Biden, bidding farewell to Delaware at the armory named in his late son’s honor.
I confessed I stood alone when Biden took the oath.
Lurlene wept alone for decency.
Frank wept alone when Lady Gaga sang our anthem. Carlos wept alone when the poet, Amanda Gorman, spoke. I stood when Biden and Harris laid the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, with the ghost of the Master Sergeant standing at crisp attention next to me. Gonzales wept when he saw the bust of Cesar Chavez behind the president’s desk.
The retelling of these moments triggered warm tears of joy, pride, hope and relief.
I told my beloved friends I thought America was coiled to spring back better than before. “The best is ahead. In 100 days, a hundred million of us will be vaccinated. We will defeat this virus. By summer we will be able to hug old friends as if we’ve been castaways stranded in a strange distant place — where the world went mad. Together, we are going to lift up this economy. For all Americans. So here’s a toast. To President Biden.”
As we held our invisible champagne glasses up high, Carlos added, “To the man who will defeat the coronavirus, preserve the Union, bring about the promise of Reconstruction, unleash America’s coiled economic might, rebuild our nation ... and ... ”
Carlos thought of the immigrant children and choked.
“And as for Liberty, may her torch, a beacon for all the world, burn bright again. To a bold future with a thriving economy and justice for all. Salud! And as Joe always says — God bless America. May God protect our troops.”
Rosa added, “And may we all be together on the day we reopen the Arroyo Cafe.”
With that we cheered and clinked our imaginary glasses to our screens.
David Fitzsimmons: firstname.lastname@example.org.