Today’s headlines featured terms like “demon sperm” and “the umbrella man” because we’ve slipped into a psychedelic hell this summer. There’s a doctor in Houston who supports our president’s bizarre fixation on hydroxychloroquine as a cure for everything. She also believes we get sick from having sex with witches in our dreams. The president thinks she’s terrific. He says she’s “spectacular in her statements” and I can’t disagree.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis, authorities have identified the man with an umbrella who smashed up the windows of an Auto Zone and kickstarted a night of arson and looting. He’s a white supremacist linked to the Hell’s Angels. The umbrella natters at the mind. Maybe it’s meant to hijack the symbolism of the protests in Hong Kong, where umbrellas shield protestors from security cameras and drones. Perhaps it’s a 21st-century echo of the Umbrella Man in the Zapruder film that captures the killing of JFK. He’s the mysterious man who opened an umbrella on a sunny day, the one who some believe gave the signal to kill the president.

I remember driving through the Mojave desert ten years ago. I was lonely and filled with grief, and I flipped on the radio for company. I heard a man say they found the lost city of Atlantis, that it was somewhere under Reno. Living in America these days feels like being trapped inside that moment forever.

Midwife – Demon

Prayer Hands | Antiquated Future, 2018 | Bandcamp