Prompt Images

I’m a monster. Seriously, I’m a terrible person.

I live in Los Angeles. There have been fires to the south and east off-and-on for the past few months. There are fires to the north. Half the state is on fire, and I don’t want to do anything about it. I don’t want to give any money, or donate any food, or offer to let anyone stay in my home after theirs has burned to ash.

Portugal is on fire, too. I don’t want to give them any money, either.

A hurricane or close to it hit Ireland, and thank god they didn’t ask me for anything.

Puerto Rico is a mess. I don’t want to give them anything. I don’t want to send them anything. I don’t want to do anything.

What was the hurricane before that? Irma? Didn’t want to help Florida. Fuck Florida.

And Harvey, that was awful. I watched news about Harvey for weeks. It looked like some idiot producer thought it was the perfect time to reboot the Katrina franchise. I didn’t want to sink my money into either.

Somalia is a shambles. South Sudan is starving. No thanks.

I see so many homeless people every day, everywhere I go. Do I want to hand them money? No.

I’m not #VegasStrong. Personally, I don’t want to send anything other than thoughts and prayers.

I told you, I’m a monster.

What was before that? Something else terrible happened that I’m forgetting. I didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t want to be expected to know which organizations to donate to vs. not, didn’t want to be asked to donate at all. If I donated $10 to every disaster relief effort, gave blood after every mass shooting, sent food and water to every refugee camp, wrote an emotional plea for every diseased piece of the world, I’d be drained in every possible way.

I don’t want to have to do these things. I don’t want this to be my life every day.

I don’t want to fund your recovery one transaction at a time. I don’t want to send my money to Texas, to Florida, to Puerto Rico, to Napa, to Las Vegas, to the new non-profit setting up tents in a parking lot, to the private organization helping incarcerated youth learn tools to prevent recidivism and aid in rehabilitation, to the rescue group saving some individual animal facing annihilation. I don’t want to send my money to these places.

I want my money to already be there.

I want to feel confident that systems are in place to respond to these events proactively.

I want to be assured that we’re doing everything we can to prevent these disasters, these super-storms, these insane droughts, this now-inevitable climate change.

I want to know that something is being done to stop these mass shootings, that the problem has reached critical limits and is being taken seriously, that I shouldn’t fear crowds, that I’m not a loophole away from being the next thought, the next prayer.

I want to understand that my government has it under control, to be comforted by my government’s reaction to crisis, to know that my government cares about these things, to trust that my government exists for us, not we for it.

I don’t want to feel good about my donations going towards making the world a better place. My donations cannot aid the dead.

But I’m the monster.

Brian McGackin

‪Poet Brian McGackin is the author of BROETRY and DEATH IN THE RICK. He lives in Los Angeles and drinks a lot of Guinness.‬

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more