Our Fault by Meg Bashwiner

Our Fault

©2018 Meg Bashwiner

There was an earthquake my first night here. I woke up and felt the world shaking, but then it stopped and I fell right back to sleep. I had forgotten it happened until someone said “Hey a couple nights ago there was that earthquake.” and I remembered, I remembered that it wasn’t just a dream, it was real, it wasn’t just a tremor in the misty jet lagged fueled weird sleep of hemisphere hopping.

People in LA are dismissive of earthquakes, they are all just like “Oh yeah, I don’t even notice them anymore. haha. Have you been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology yet? Let’s get tacos and talk about my spec script. haha.”  but I know they do notice the earthquakes, they must. It has to be something they are just saying. It just has to be. The world shaking cannot just be commonplace. My husband tells me there were 44 earthquakes in the past week in LA.

17 Children and faculty were murdered in their school last week. People from the US just say “Yeah, I don’t even notice mass shootings anymore. haha. Have you seen Trump’s twitter? Let’s eat processed corn and talk about Kylie Jenner. haha.” But that’s just something people are saying these days. It has to be. They are just trying to sound cool, to sound tough, to sound like those LA people. The world shaking cannot just be commonplace. There were 346 mass shootings in the past year in the US. 

They say go to a place where nothing can fall on you. They say hide under something heavy. They say run for your life. 

They say lock the door. They say turn off the lights and be quiet. They say run for your life. 

Everyone’s paintings and picture frames are always a little crooked in LA. The shifting ground is moving your art and your memories around and there is nothing you can do to keep them steady.

Everyone’s heart is a little crooked in the US. The shifting blah blah blahs of politics and social division move our feelings and actions around and there is something we can do to keep them steady. We just don’t know how.

Or we do know how we just don’t believe that we can actually do it. The kids believe. They believe we are lazy/jaded/ignorant/chasing our own tail. And they are right. The survivors from that school have organized they are saying enough is enough. And they are right. Enough is already too much. Is it possible that this time it’s different? That we all felt it and we all will say out loud that we felt it and that we are scared and we have been scared every time. Scared that the ground won’t stop shaking and we won’t stop shaking and our country won’t stop shaking.

There was another earthquake the other day. I was standing in the kitchen and my husband said “Hey is the washer on?” I said no. He said “The floor is moving.” I didn’t even notice. 







Why I Can't Take a Pottery Class by Meg Bashwiner

I would really like to take a pottery class. I’ve always wanted to but never have. They are supposed to be good for relaxation. I live in Upstate New York where it is easier to sign up for a pottery class than it is to sign up to be a paid attendee at a Trump rally.

But I can’t take a pottery class because I don’t really have the time. I have a serious career and a husband and a family and room for very little else and other reasons that are, of course, totally bullshit. Most people have jobs and spouses some people even have children. 

So what if one day I did take a pottery class…

and what if I like it and I wanted to get better at it…

So maybe I would take more classes …

and then I make friends and then maybe I start occasionally filling in to teach, you know just whenever they need someone…

and then teaching a beginner class once a week...

And then maybe I teach more and I take over scheduling. And then I take over teacher training and supervising the kiln hours, and ordering clay and herbal tea. And Its all going great! Then I start helping the studio to become a non profit and so next i’m in charge of grants! And boards! and still the kiln but people are starting to really be stupid about the kiln. They don’t respect the schedule and they leave things in the kiln, but they are still allowed to use the kiln even though they don’t follow the rules, because its just a fucking pottery studio not Nazi Germany but I still follow the rules. The rules that I made and laminated and put on the wall by the kiln- the kiln that I make sure is serviced and clean so that EEEEEEVERBODY can fire their pots and their mugs and their vases with vaginal motifs. Maybe I should just stop following these rules too? It certainly is a lot easier to not adhere to the Kiln schedule let me tell you what Mister. But I have to set an example, OK? I helped write the bylaws and filled the articles of incorporation for fuck’s sake. I have given this studio every moment of my time and now there is nothing left in the tank and what do I have to show for it huh!? A salad bowl? A group of middle aged Hudson Valleyites who resent me for trying to control their joy? Crippling stress about a fucking KILN?! 

No Sir, that is why I cannot take a pottery class. I just don’t have room for something like that in my life right now. Do you know if you can do air traffic control as a hobby?