You know what? I’m just gonna say it.

I miss the days when men were men and women were something strange and terrible we don’t dare discuss.

You know what I’m talking about. Back when a lover was a lover, and a friend was a friend, and family was popularly believed to be family, even though scientists warned us it wasn’t so simple. Things were easier then. Parents were parents, children were children, and unlike today’s children, they didn’t grow into adults either. They just stayed exactly the same, forever, no matter what you tried to do to them.

That’s what’s wrong with the world today. We’ve forgotten what it was like for a family to be a family, and a community to be a community, and a neighborhood to be 0.75 metric neighborhoods, give or take. America has lost the simple satisfaction of knowing that a day’s work is a day’s work, and a day’s pay is a day’s pay, and a dollar is at least close enough to a dollar that you could persuade yourself it really was one, except sometimes in the dark nights when you lie alone with your doubts.

That’s right. I’m talking about the days when girls were girls and boys were also girls. They had to share, because of the war. In that time, a husband was a husband and a wife was close enough to being a wife, as long as you didn’t ask too many questions. A chair was a chair, a table was a table, at least one lamp was a lamp, though I won’t speak for the others, a napkin was a napkin, a knife was a knife, a spoon was a spoon, a fork was a fork unless it was a salad fork, and that was as much as I could verify without leaving my dining room, which was my bedroom.

No, actually, you’re thinking of the slightly earlier days, when a town was a town and a city was a city, but a village wasn’t even close to being a village, and nobody who made the mistake lived to regret it. Men were men and women were women, but not the same woman; every woman was a completely different woman, and they switched it around to keep you on your toes. Also, while girls were occasionally girls, boys were at best a strained metaphor for boys, and non-binary people were even less binary.

Right, the days I’m talking about are after that, but not quite as recently as the days when shirts were pants and pants were underwear and underwear was shirts, so at least everyone still had full outfits. I don’t like those days quite as much because while a window was a window and a door was a door, a wall would sometimes get a second job as a floor to make ends meet. Men were certified to be at least 85% organic man, but there was controversy over the legal definition of that term. Women didn’t exist at all; it was an unfortunate oversight.

I remember once, my dad took me on his knee, which wasn’t a knee, but could be used the same way. He looked me in the eye, which was forward-thinking, since eyes weren’t what you used to see with yet, and said, “Son, every thing is identical with itself.” That was all the wisdom he ever gave me, and back then, wisdom was also affection.

Nowadays, things are all topsy turvy. Men are women and women are men, which means the men who were women go back to being men and vice versa. Cats are dogs and dogs are two dogs, and each of those dogs are also two dogs, so every dog is infinite dogs, nestled together. Up is down and down is a specific flower in North Carolina, and if someone picks it, I have no idea what’ll happen. Every time I go outside for a walk, I’m actually inside, and when I try to bring an umbrella for the rain, it’s actually a bathtub, and the rain is a symbol of my contempt for women, who are men.

That’s right, I said it. Things were better back when flutes were flutes and pianos were pianos but, curiously, musical instruments were mostly pinking shears. Nowadays, girls are boys, and boys are boys and clocks are boys, and zebras are boys, and hot air balloons are boys, and roads are boys, and clouds are boys, and basically anything I haven’t mentioned is boys which ought to make it simpler but doesn’t.

All I’m saying is we need to stop letting things be other things and instead make them be other things, specifically, the other things that used to not be other things because back then, they were each other.

I think you know exactly what I mean.