Mostly rambles, few brambles
What to Expect When You’re Expecting: U.S. Census
April 22, 2020Posted by on
An envelope from a massive institution will arrive and enclosed will be a series of demands for personal information. Your face will scrunch in disdain at the nerve of anyone, anything, or any faceless bureau to probe such intimate data, like your name or your household situations. “What’s in it for me,” you will chuckle sarcastically, recalling past unfulfilled, sweepstake-esque promises.
The communiqué will threaten something to the effect of, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way.” Lessons from your court-mandated anger management will have slipped away, like so much blood from your clenched fists, now raining down upon the hallway drywall. Compared to the class, which promised to expunge your record, this government document’s promises will have been left far more vague. “Maybe you’ll get a new road,” it will say with a shrug and an omitted question mark. “Okay, montherfucker,” you will say aloud to the empty room, “we can do this the hard way. Send your goons.”
Tearing outside, your insides will feel like an exploding sun, and you will hurl this vile scrap of movable printed type into the dumpster. Terminal velocities will touched before the crumpled mass splatters against the tempered steel and comes to rest in the pile of rotting cabbage and other Census forms.
You will feel a scream-storm brewing, yet your trusty muffling pillow, the one with the embroidered “Laugh Every Day,” will still be upstairs. Frantic, you will erupt into the softest thing you can find, however, then the guy will tell you to shut up and to get away from his yard clippings. He won’t realize or ever be thankful for it, but those clippings were the only thing separating him from the same fate as the hallway drywall.
A Census henchman or henchwoman will arrive weeks later. Armed with bureaucracy and a clicker thing, from behind the door chair they will badger you over your mail habits. “Why can’t they just leave,” you will think, as they ask if you saw a form in the mail that you might have stomped or smashed down a storm drain or into a runny pulp. This pawn, unemployable but for once every ten years and tasked with counting the untrusting, the mail-averse, and the under-bridge dwelling members of society, why, you think, can’t they just leave and embody the detached apathy that eighteen-dollars-an-hour merits? But no, you will have expected yammering and yammer they will—yammer over the seriousness of new roads and more government representation. “Of course,” you will think, “first the state tells me I’m too angry to work, and now they want to me to help them get more jobs.”
“Sir,” you will hear the shakedown artist say as his or her voice and soul start to fracture. Oh, government, you will mourn, how many more young souls must you corrupt? “Sir, how many other people live here with you?”
“I’m not saying shit.”
“Okie dokie, we’ll count this dwelling for one!” Dammit, you think, that’s correct, but you will resolve to show no reaction as they walk away.
“So am I not entered in your new road sweepstakes, then?” You will call out, but they will already have passed the busted drywall and won’t hear you. A new road might be nice: a good excuse to buy a car or have somewhere to go.