The Grey

Everything was different now.

“After,” in the days and weeks following “the event,” everything changed.

People who had believed in one thing suddenly found themselves supporting another. “Speech” became “violence;” not literally, but in common understanding, and “violence” was not to be tolerated… in any way, shape or form.

Even if that meant meeting it with actual, physical, classical violence.

The kind where people died instead of simply agreed to disagree, as it had been “before.”

“Opinion” vanished: replaced by “consensus.” Consensus often effected by mobs–both physical and virtual–who demanded it.

At any cost… so long as that cost was understood to be paid by others.

Never by themselves.

So we found ourselves a year later, mired in a mass of words whose meaning shifted by the day–sometimes by the hour–depending on what the righteous, and those whose support depended on it, needed them to mean to keep the cost of consensus off their own ledger and on someone–anyone–else’s.

These words, on this page, might seem anodyne as they are written, but tomorrow, next week, next month… they could end a life.

Perhaps not a physical life, although that is always a possibly, we suppose, but more likely a communal death, a societal death, a death of the ability to be a human being on planet Earth.

We find ourselves , instead of a world of constants, of meanings, of bright light and utter darkness, existing (for it cannot truly be called living) is a state of uniform grey, unbroachable by language, impenetrable by logic, ruled by emotion, and one emotion above all others:

Fear.

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