The Swamp is powered by Vocal creators. You support Danielle Dragani by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

What Happens When We Forget We're Human?

On the Situation We Have Found Ourselves in Now

It started with a thought, a maniacal imagination, really, that ran wild in my head in an airport in Salt Lake City. I was on a layover, headed for Denver, Colorado and I was running on two hours of sleep and too many cups of coffee. There was a monotone woman with a cellphone slipped between her shoulder and left ear. The shoulder was pinched tight and I imagined no hands had caressed those shoulders in a long time. She seemed frustrated, unsatisfied.

She was discussing the death of her salon team.

“This team will not take us to the next step.”

“We are not silly, we are not loud.” 

We are sad, lonely, blue-balled and frustrated. We are the miserable, the obedient, we are the suckers and we misplaced our backbones and dreams sometime long ago.

Names like heads severed from necks on chopping blocks crusted with blood and dreams from millions of necks before, dropped from rouged lips. They would soon find out their income; their livelihood was slipping from between their perfectly manicured nails.

I wondered when the last time Mrs. Monotonia, Mrs. Off With Their Heads had forgotten herself; had been so lost in a moment of passion or of awe of this life that she suddenly remembered she too was human. When her imaginary authority, suits and emotional hang-ups fell to a crumpled useless heap on the floor.

I thought it might have been awhile. I thought one must be lost for a long time in the circus of the EGO, of EVERYTHING FOR SELF AND NONE FOR THE REST to sound like that.

I thought maybe it had been a while for a lot of us.

Anyhow, I snapped to and boarded the plane and was then wholly occupied with my BUSINESS in Denver. And this was relocation.

This thought process did eventually resurface, however, around 7 or 8 PM two days later after some pot brownie eating’s and news watching’s. (I don’t recommend this combination to any of those prone to nightmares or weak stomachs.)

The brownies were deliciously chocolate and mind satisfying.

The news was eye-glazing-anxiety-promoting-nerve-tweaking-nauseating, madness. 

I tried to focus on the details and not the fear. It was FOX news. There was a panel of suits. Every other stiff suit was accompanied with either a red or a blue tie and these were rotated so no blue tie hung next to  another blue tie. This was to give the illusion of DEBATE, of VARIETY, of CHOICE. YOU MAY CHOOSE THIS SIDE OR THAT SIDE THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN, NO OTHER OPTION, SO STOP LOOKING.

They were all foaming at the mouth and my stomach was somersaulting, and my face was contorting between forced relaxation and genuine terror. I knew I would have to even out the INTENSE STONED that was settling in in order to make heads or tails of the charade that was playing out on screen.

In order to do this, I would have to step into the hallway, creep down hallway, take the elevator, take complimentary cookie from front desk, step into seductively cool mountain air, spin back around through glass doors, take more complimentary cookies from desk and step back out for a butt. And then it was back through, back up and slump back into the cushy chair to reassess with fresh redder eyes.

I was still fairly lost. It still appeared I was watching some sort of comedy hour; some sort of circus. 

The players seemed to have completely lost sight that they were only supposed to be play acting. A suit, a skin slipped into and slipped out of. It appeared they were stuck, now they believed they were the blue tie, or the red tie, that they WERE their made up and rather flimsy titles. They had forgotten they were no more than sad and lonely humans underneath their stiff suits.

And when one forgets that they are the same as the other guy on the other team; we get confused. We go on attack everything we think is different mode.

I looked down at my hands hoping to find the answer to what the difference between TEAM A and TEAM B was. All I found were dehydrated cracks that ran like streams across the land and that were splitting in crimson where the bony joints bent. 

Must be the altitude getting to me. 

I squinted back at the propaganda machine—I mean television, and my stomach was grumbling and there was only one more brownie left...and then I was licking the rapper for crumbs.

It helped. The foaming at the bit was over TRUMP, our feared and fearful child-like leader. The specifics were unnecessary. He lied again and he was caught, again, in a lie.

Although this time, he seemed to be fairly ensnared. There was talk of hysteria in the White House.

This could be IT the blue ties seemed to be saying. This could be the big hairy foot that booted the orange hairy bully from command of our dear United States of Waste.

Whether or not it would be the END, the MOMENT OF TRUTH/REDEMPTION or simply another failed attempt for truth to triumph, another interrupted orgasm, I could not discern as of yet. I checked the calendar; this story seemed to have been running on the news since November 8, 2016.

But I was stuck on something else, something broader than the presidency.

The man's wispy comb over was blowing softly in the breeze on screen, some maddening quotation recently spewed from pinched lips running underneath and that was when I saw that THIS is what happens when we forget completely that we are human. 

He is the epitome of one lost completely in their own EGO. Underneath the hate and narcissism, lay whimpering and lonely dejected boy whose father didn't show enough love to, who grew up believing himself to be a loser.

He has flesh, same as you and I. He had his childhood, his youth and he has bodily functions, and he is facing the same GREAT BEYOND the rest of us are facing. And yet he; and other's like him, that keep their human-ness under wraps and grin with false teeth that snap twisted political speak, seem so out of touch...so inhuman.

They are like the band of maniacal robots let loose, the ones in which the programming stuck without question. Again I wondered when the last time they remembered that we are all the same was. When did they last feel some genuine and vulnerable emotion rising within them? And when did they last say what they meant, and mean what they said? And when was the last time you did? Or are you just as fooled? Are you just as detached?

He is wholly ego; not much spirit or soul seems to have developed. No selflessness. No awareness or pondering about "what is THIS?" or what the actual shit am I?

And this is the result of a society that nearly completely ignores the question of our own existence. This is a result of a society which promotes consumerism and isolationism. This is the result of a place that puts bankers, politicians and celebrities over scientists and philosophers (are there even any philosophers out there anymore?); that puts money over humanity.

We can debate about whether or not he lied this time. We can debate about who's side is right and who's side is wrong. We can do so until our heads ache and our guts are riddled with oozing ulcers and we can do nothing other than shit blood. But we will still miss the point time and time again until we can recognize we are all the same fleshy sacks of skin and bones. There is no TEAM A or B. It's just us. And we're all on the same side. And we have to find a way to get back in touch with each other; with ourselves. 

Now Reading
What Happens When We Forget We're Human?
Read Next
Ryan Wastes Another $7.4 Million