I recently went down to the big city of Denver, and WOW! I felt like Country Mouse showing up at the door of an old family friend in my worn-out coat and hat, carrying an old square suitcase. Such a busy, bustling place, yet everyone just goes about their own mouse business. Standing on the sidewalk near my old stomping grounds, I could still feel Denver in the summer some forty years ago…

In the summer between sixth and seventh grade, my best friend and I roamed the city on our bikes and the bus, from Cherry Creek to Cranmer Park to Elitch Gardens— when it was way out on 38th Street. Now Elitch’s is located right downtown, and the light rail connects the city like never before. Although, riding the train gave me an eerie, disconnected feeling as we sped along through the burgeoning metropolis with no human conductor on board.

Nowadays, my phone knows Denver better than I do. Sometimes in the Roaring Fork Valley, we lose reception— not to mention just plain losing our phone somewhere on the trail… But, in Denver there was no lapse in connection for me or the sentient being that is my Samsung Galaxy A42 5G, or, as I like to call it, Arnie. 

Arnie is a nice, non-threatening, gender-ambivalent name for the device that literally holds all the pertinent information of my life, don’t ya think?

As a GenXer, I realize how useful and important Arnie can be, but in times of crisis I would not hesitate to leave it behind because I know that I can survive in the natural world all by myself. I do wonder if the schedule for updating our phones aligns with the planet in any way. Like, are updates planned around the new moon or some other planetary pattern? Or are they completely random? Is there even such a thing as completely random when we’re talking about A.I.?

I’m ready for robots. As cold and impersonal as they are, they are reassuring in their reliability. And they are sure-as-shit preferable to some of the nutters we have in government these days. I think A.I. is the perfect candidate to introduce a refresher course on the constitution for these guys. America is not a Christian country; it is a country where you are free to be a Christian— or any other religion you choose. And, that is the key to this country’s prosperity: free choice. We’re like a toddler, give us a choice or prepare for the meltdown.

I enjoyed my time spent in the shiny big city, and they sure do have some fun toys, but I’m always appreciative to get back to our dusty little mountain town. As fast as things are changing in Carbondale, it is still a friendly place to live and let live; and thank goddess for the spotty cell service mid-valley that religiously drops calls, allowing me and Arnie time to ignore all the stuff in our calendar that we haven’t done today and might just put off tomorrow…

The urgency we feel right now to protect our nation from a major backslide is real, but as long as we all respect each other’s choices, there is hope — despite the poetry of the Democrats.

Roses are red, 

Violets are blue,

Do something — for the love of god, Democrats,

We already voted for you. 

– Samantha Bee

Well, except for the increasing number of us who felt it necessary to vote Republican for the first time in a long time, in an attempt to head off those in the grand ole party who seem hell-bent on leading us, like a pack of gun-toting lemmings, right off the cliff. We may never be able to get the bath water hot enough again, but at least we are exercising our right to choose. We have not given up and we will not go back. We will stay calm and carry on as though it’s still illegal to hang the Vice President on the steps of the Capitol, as though women are an equal base in our society, as though the power of the people outweighs that of a few obsolete patriarchal zealots.