A wise man said to keep the straight and narrow: make double lists of passwords, bank accounts; keep three years’ worth in savings; hide a key; arrange for someone good to take the kids:
with every sweet success, a sacrifice to make a warding sign against the truck the bus the train the somehow unmanned fate that rounds the corner unappointed not exactly aimed, but always hitting its mark.
The random truck that took our best-laid plans still blindly makes its rounds, but now it fades behind the fleet of panel vans and U-Hauls that move full of intent: their drivers heard back-asswards phonetag rumors of God’s Will that bribed their eyes to see some revelers or Sunday shoppers as their enemy, their feet to floor it right into the crowd.
So now the prudent DPW and mayor not only need to build the elementary schools with colored tiles to show kids where to sit out of a shooter’s gaze; they need to guard the humblest Harvest Festival as though these stands and makeshift merry-go-round might goad a crackpot prophet into paying a visit.
The town’s snow-plowing gear, emptied of salt, now beeps as it reverses in to block the street: proverbial umbrella for new rains that might shoot down at any time.
Within a few years, the men in orange vests who park those trucks at marathons and fairs will not be needed— autonomous, the trucks will circle the town, endowed with wisdom by an algorithm that guards us faithfully against the widow stranger orphan guest all possible intruders to our camp.