I’m feeling very still.
~from David Bowie’s "Space Oddity"
Can you hear me, Ender? This is your Uncle Tommy,
from a different generation of pinball—
I just hunted commies and child molesters—but
you! You saved our entire planet from destruction.
I’m giving you my wizard gear. No really, I
can’t see it, never could, you know. They can’t heal me,
never could. And so, in a way I know what you
are going through killing an entire species
without even knowing it was in front of you.
We push buttons faster than our invisible
targets, collect pay and return to the barracks
day after day. And there is a thrill, don’t deny
it and it won’t deny you. Ender? Do you hear?
Do you see, Uncle Tommy, how it now needs me?
One lives, and if I can help her survive my guilt
and my boss’s hubris, I will be the speaker
for her dead, I will serve her the rest of my days.
No video or games, only self-reliance
and alliance. We’re not gonna take it, break it—
those were your words once upon a time, but I won’t
take this endless war machine, the rape of childhood
and faith. See me? Feel me? Touch me? Heal me? No way.
Never again, Uncle Tommy, no amount of
wealth would be enough reward for ripping out my
soul and abandoning my heart. Forgive me, I
thought it was merely play. Now get out of my way.
Written for Kerry Says ~ Can You Hear Me?
at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads with
apologies to The Who and to Orson Scott Card.
Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast