We moved in the middle of the pandemic. We started renovating the house. My wife’s mother moved in with us. Remote learning was an off/on again unknown in our two-teacher household. It was strange. It was stressful.
The day my wife hung a Black Lives Matter flag, our neighbors across the street looked on. I wondered if they’d see it as an affront to their less generous public signs. *shrug*
One of the neighbors came over and complimented me on the new flag. It felt a lot like when someone from a different group comes to your lunch table sophomore year. Confusing. Inauthentic.
I awoke at midnight to the sound of engines revving. The party was over. I took a peak out my bedroom window. Flag still there.
One O’Clock rolled around and I awoke again. I peaked. Flag gone.
I stewed. I simmered. I boiled.
Unwilling to wake my better half to reason with me, I opened the front door and walked across the street. I stood on the stoop of the triplex. I knocked. Looking down, I thought: I don’t even have shoes on. It’s fine. I’ll just casually ask “Did you see anything?” I could feel my heart rate rising. I knock a second time. What am I doing? I don’t even have a shirt on?!
So I’m standing there. Shirtless. No shoes. Ready to confront our flag thief. How exactly is this going to go? Is it going to get heated? Am I planning to fight?
No one answered the door. I went home. Four days later, I took our 15 foot ladder and hung a new flag. Higher than the last.
It’s still there.