The Trump supporter, the born-again Christian, the girl who has given up, and the blue skink: a parable, maybe

You and the born-again Christian had been arguing with the Trump supporter yesterday. “Un-American and divisive,” you had said. Today the Trump supporter rescues a spider that has found its way inside the building. She cups it in her hands and lets it free outside the side door. You and The New Guy talk about how you both don’t feel sorry for spiders that come inside. The Trump supporter says the spider has a right to live. Outside, the born-again Christian crushes a blue skink lizard beneath his boot. You, The New Guy, and the Trump supporter rush outside. The skink is on its back, pale belly up to the clouded sky, the lower half of it missing. You smack the born-again. The born-again says it was a snake, and that snakes are evil and that man has the right to kill. The born-again goes to his car to leave. The Trump supporter is visibly upset. You pick up the skink, holding him in your palms. He is very large and blue and white. His leg moves, and everyone realizes the skink is still alive. The Trump supporter, nearly in tears, says that the skink will just suffer now. You gaze into the flat black of the skink’s eye, and you see the life inside. You put him down gently on the ground, and cover him with leaves. The New Guy just stands there. The born-again drives away. The Trump supporter goes back to her desk quietly. The world lurches in your view, and you feel as though you have just witnessed a terrible act of violence. Later, you have a conversation with the Trump supporter about the life of a spider compared to the life of a lizard. Compared to one of our lives. Tell me, who dares to be righteous in the world nowadays? Who dares?

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