Last night I had a dream.

I was in a Target strolling the brightly lit fluorescent aisles. The shelves were all stocked and fronted with everything I needed to make it through my day. I didn’t have heartburn, but bought some medicine to ensure I didn’t get it. The store was packed with people, but no one made eye contact. And no one smiled. Everyone shopping was white. Everyone working was black.

On the way home, I turned on the radio. There was a story about rich politicians taking the rights away from the poor – who were all mad as hell, but powerless to do anything. Except complain. And when they did, they were arrested.

A beer truck ran a red light smashing into an ambulance. Everyone honked their horns and stuck their middle fingers out of their windows, then quickly rolled them up to avoid breathing the filth that the cars belched into the air as we waited for the inconvenient accident to clear. Planes crisscrossed the sky leaving trails of black smoke. I checked my social media streams where everyone was either promoting books about their business prowess or one-upping each other to prove they knew more about how to manipulate social media for commercial gain, except for Clayton Hove who was contemplating bacon-flavored breakfast cereal.

When I finally arrived home, I was a little shocked to see that our house was made out of old shoes. Nothing was on television. Again.


We return to America in five days after two weeks in a country where you can’t flush toilet paper, and no one is rich, but everyone smiles and the trees sing songs to you and drop food at your feet. I don’t know if things will ever be the same.


The view from our dock in Caye Caulker, Belize


Jim Mitchem

3 Ways to Save Humans in America
Walking Off the Island

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.