I went out and visited with the collateral damage today. It says "Hi" and that everything is great. The optimism of the collateral damage knows no bounds and should be applauded for its lack of even a hair of despair. Upon the first sight of me the collateral damage exploded into thunderous applause. It shot headfirst into cheering and a pleasant albeit foreign whistling that filled the air with the audible scent of sweet daisies, a strange description I suspect most would reach if one were to try to find a comparable sensation in the realm of flora.
I was literally pulled into one of many fine homes of the collateral damage and at once noticed how airy and free of obstruction it was. The sun beamed in from every vantage it could find illuminating the entire inner dwelling in a natural morning fire that would put all the chandelier and candelabra of Versailles to shame. The collateral damage then relaxed itself in the most odd positions to and fro around the house and floor wherever comfort was to be possessed. Yogic contortions and asymmetrical postures of the most delightful and exotic origin. I can only describe it as a dance minus movement. From these positions, of which I was welcomed to try but for the life of me was hopelessly unable to mimic, the collateral damage spoke in the oddest measures and beats. Furthermore chatter was about the most random and roundabout things. It was as if I were not in the room at all. From what I deciphered, the moments right after the previous nights meal had to be of significant importance as it was the only topic of conversation. Spoken about up to a point then abruptly stopped mid-word then rewound and started again. Initially the cultural practices and habits of the collateral damage don't lend themselves easily to crossing the divide of opposing customs but after a while of just casual attendance the finer points can be deduced to a satisfactory medium of understanding.
Upon leaving that home I was greeted almost immediately by a group of adolescent collateral damage. They were dressed in the most vibrant crimson and cinnamon colored clothing, the preferred palette of the collateral damage, with hints of sooty blacks and dusty grays strategically placed here and there. Their faces were painted in like suit. It was reminiscent of sights once seen at a tribal ceremony where no expense was spared on the pageantry. But this was the everyday attire of the collateral damage children. What grandeur! What excess! It was truly a sight to behold. So spoiled they must be by such extravagance. The little collateral damage then invited me to play a game in which one simply fell to the ground and laid quite still in much the same distorted fashion that the collateral damage assumes when relaxing and having conversation. Again for the life of me I was unable to participate much to the censored displeasure of the small collateral damage. Luckily I had a secret weapon on my person of the confectionary kind and was soon able to rally unshakable support from them again.
I felt such a remorse in having to leave such a peaceful place populated by so many lively souls. But if the rates of growth of collateral damage is anything to go by, soon collateral damage will be as close as the neighborhood corner market or the local senior citizens home. I further suspect we will soon be able to live harmoniously in communities where proud families of collateral damage heritage share in our honored traditions and pastimes and vice versa. A seamless merging where we will become them and they will become us. A time when we can spoil our children in the same manner of colorful dress and relax as they do. An era where xenophobia of every flavor will be effectively wiped out because all will be one and the same. A place where damages of all forms collateral, intended and scheduled can prosper and grow. Our schools will be filled with collateral damage and that will be just fine. It is a fanciful vision of the future I know, but soon all will be able to say with sincerity of heart, "My neighbors, my co-workers, my teachers, my lover, my friends, my family and my world are all collateral damage and so am I!"
By Wasalu "Lupe Fiasco" Jaco (on assignment from The Dispatch)
**Editors Note: Photographs were taken.
Excerpt from a work in progress...