I'm not a bumper sticker gal. There's a little
something in me that winces at
the slogans and the white sticker cut-outs on
the rear windows of an SUV. Why anyone
would feel the need to advertise
their political preferences, personal lives,
number of offspring, number of dogs -
Well, I totally get it. But just find it oddly
Perhaps its because the labels are defining,
they preserve your accomplishments, and keep
you in boxes with plush, accomodating lining like
"Republican. Conservative. Staunch Reaganomics
Fan" or "Democrat. Liberal. Part of the Obama Hope
They're easy, those boxes, those labels and stickers.
Too easy to resist. But only dead things reside, mind
you, in static states, wrapped up with nice paper
like "My Kid's an Ace" or "Proud Parent of x"
You know, appreciating children is nice.
But any parent can do it, in fact any adult suffices
to tell them they're great. Anyone can brag
for something they feel pride in. It can be a
son or a flag...or a job or a craft. A boat or a quilt
Anyone use achievements to throw a cover
On unadmitted guilt. Or unadmitted egoism,
or unadmitted shame. Heck, anyone can lie
To give themselves some semblance of
A good name again.
Its an old human trick. We did it before cars...
but not nearly so much. And not so visibly,
with those bright worded vinyl bars of jaunty
one-liners, bon mots and brash statements.
They cover our windows like scars,
or gaudy multi-flower arrangements and wreaths
piled on a grave.
They can't quite mask the reality of death
Nor really save much. In fact, they're only
distractions. From our bloody-awful souls
(if we're honest) and our selfish attractions to
greed and to hate, to pride and to lust.
So why trust strangers on the road
with your children's colleges and ages,
with your cutesy fangirl parephanalia, with knowing
your busty devil-women,
with your favorites sports: the soccer,
college ball, swimming? We all know the truth
in the back all the time...
you would never give those strangers
one ounce of your time. Or least not normally.
You keep to your kind. You stay in competition
with the moms and the men and the mimes who
just go through the motions (just like you are)
What do these badges accomplish, then? Aside from giving
a random, opposite idealist bumper-bragger...stranger...
reasons to key the doors of your car.