I know the nationalists need their living space, but I need mine, too. I’ve been cooped up too long. The populists might tell me to leave the city, especially if I’m in their city. In fact, they might tell me to leave the electrical grid altogether, but why should I live off the grid? Where am I supposed to live, in the swamp? I understand I’m a community alien, an alien to the community that has spawned a cult of anti-aliens. But I object—I conscientiously object—to thuggery in any form. You might say I’m a member of a different race, and you would be right. To me, Nazis are not Schatzis. If we are talking eugenics, I’ll bring my pyrotechnics.
Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of seven books, most recently Tricks of Light, a poetry collection. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and Columbia University and received a fiction writing fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.