I started this piece years ago, after talking about the American “prepper” movement with some friends here in Spain. What began as a simple sketch of a silly boyhood fantasy soon evolved into something much deeper, and darker. As it tends to do, the act of writing became an act not of teaching, but learning; not of showing, but finding. All the dots had always been there—I only had to start writing to finally connect them.
It’s been a long time since I believed my work could change the world, but maybe it can help explain some small part of it. While I wouldn’t say I saw the events of January 6, 2021 coming, they definitely didn’t surprise me. Who knows? But for The Clash and the guidance of elders who finally wised up to the lies we were all expected to live by, I might have been at the Capitol that day—playing the victim, waving a flag, making a mockery of a country I claimed to love.
CHARLIE GEER is the author of the novel Outbound: The Curious Secession of Latter-Day Charleston and ¿Qué Dices, Teacher?, a collection of essays in Spanish. Follow him online at @amerizano.