Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “reservation.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!
Today’s SoCS prompt didn’t immediately result in a deluge of words. I ran the various meanings of the word through my thought processes and nothing was triggered. Then I made a fatal albeit fruitful error. I subscribe to the Washington Post online and so my email gets filled with headlines. I read those and cherry pick one or two articles to read. Literally for my own sanity I have had to choose to distance myself from reading too many articles in this age of Trump. If you google “trump depression anxiety” you’ll get a list of articles, many from dependable sources. It’s a thing.
The prompt filtering through the back channels of my neurons plus the assault from the articles made me slump back into my chair, take a long drag of coffee, stare out the window and say, “He’s gone so far off the reservation…”
I continued to stare out of the window for a few more moments, letting it go at that, and then did my version of bolting upright. I grew up with that phrase, going off the reservation. I didn’t mean a slur, well, not to Native Americans. I meant it as defined by the OED, as a metaphor meaning “to deviate from what is expected or customary; to behave unexpectedly or independently.” * I rarely use this phrase, and wouldn’t have thought of it today if not for this prompt. As so many of us do, I say things without really thinking about them.
It doesn’t take a lot of online searching to find articles about this phrase. It also doesn’t take a scholarly linguist to hazard a guess as to the origin of this metaphor. In fact, it didn’t start out as a metaphor but was meant literally and was usually used to bolster the contempt “we” had for Indians.
This is not a good phrase to be tossing off without thinking and probably not a good one to state in general, although I’m too anti-politically-correct censorship to say there’s never a reason for it. So chalk one up for having my awareness raised and all before I finished my first cup of coffee.
Turning back to the news, I can see that I can apply the prompt in other, more mindful ways. There are reservations at an abandoned Walmart for immigrant children forcibly separated from their parents. This place, oddly and cruelly named “Casa Padre” is just one of several facilities. Federal authorities have not allowed reporters to visit other reservations which house the youngest children and these sites remain hidden in number and location.
There are reservations in hell for our closest ally because its prime minister was mean to our fearless leader by issuing a polite but firm statement indicating that Canada doesn’t like being bullied. The nerve.
Trump wants to have reservations for a Russian chair back to the G8. Or is it G7. 6? Until that happens, and before Trudeau can land in his reserved space in hell, Trump took reservations on a seat next to his buddy Kim and achieved…what was that? Didn’t we used to not like crazy dictators?
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, has a prison reservation waiting for him. True to form, Trump tweeted some whataboutism regarding Crooked Hilary and “all of the others” declaring the Federal ruling against Manafort to be “Very unfair!” Biggly unfair. And then he went on to distance himself from Manafort. Paul who? As for the “biggest witch hunt in American history” (ever! universally!) to date there are nineteen people and three companies who have either been indicted or plead guilty. Is there an interview seat reserved for Trump next to Mueller?
Those are just some of the headlines of this past week. It makes me long for an excellent French dinner in Old Quebec, some place dimly lit with heavy linen tablecloths and hushed conversations, a place where they certainly require reservations. Sounds like a good place to stay for the next twenty or so years. In hell I’ll be in good company.
* My SoCS writings often lead me into long, winding Google searches which momentarily stop my typing. Perhaps that isn’t quite SoC writing, where one does research in the midst of writing, but it is honestly how my own brain works, so I stand by it!