Love, Unrequited

Joey here.  On the eve of Giving Tuesday.

Human rights need protection every day, even during pandemics.  A generous Human Rights First Board Member has agreed to match all one-time gifts to Human Rights First, up to $25,000, through Giving Tuesday, May 5. Click here to donate today and double your gift.  Mention the Ride for Human Rights and you’ll get a souvenir Beatles postcard, signed by Jeffrey and by me.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey and I have biked 145 miles (and counting!) around NYC, carrying our banners for Human Rights First, even as we dream of the West.

Here’s where we would be if we had biked those 145 miles on our postponed Ride to Utah.

From Normandy Park to Vantage, Washington, on the banks of the Columbia River.

NYC has undeniable charm.

At the Metropolitan Museum. Joey, with a pretzel cart pole up his behind, is masked in a clean plastic dog poo bag, impermable to COVID-19 virus . . . and to oxygen. Like bleach, a mask that is safe for a puppet can kill a human!

By the Hudson River.

Overlooking the George Washington Bridge from the remains of the 1925 shelter at Inspiration Point.

Along the way, we get cheers.  Some are for our recumbent machine: “That’s how to bike!”  Some cheers are for human rights.

We detoured to West 56th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Because Donnie loves Joey!

Whence this romance?

Jeffrey and I responded to a Web ad asking whether we would vote for “Sleepy Joe” or “Crazy Bernie” or President Trump.  And the emails began.

The president asked me to choose my favorite jigsaw puzzle.

He offered me a chance to get an autographed photo . . .

. . . and an autographed hat.

This doormat is an odd choice.  Wiping dirty shoes on the names must please some demographic . . .

Donnie loves me or he wouldn’t offer me prizes and praise.

But his attentions trouble me.

Did the busy president . . .

. . . really take time to send this memo to Don Junior?

Did Junior actually call his father to talk about me?

Who believes this stuff?  Someone must, or the president’s reelection campaign wouldn’t send it.

Oh, and the president wants me to hate Americans who disagree with him.  Like a playground bully, he calls his opponents names.

“OUR COUNTRY NOT THEIRS.”  The yellow highlighting is the president’s.  (And by the way, I didn’t vote.)

Such language makes me sad.  The Rides and support for human rights and for Human Rights First are apolitical.  We can disagree yet still respect one another.

America is everyone’s country.  From the Liberty Bell:

Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof Lev. XXV. v X.

ALL the inhabitants.

Then there’s the motto on the Great Seal of the United States, and on U.S. currency—look at your money, Mister President—“E Pluribus Unum”.  “From Many, One”.

I get it.  We’re in this—this pandemic, this country, this life—together.

I’d had enough.

Donnie’s love for me is unrequited.  I unsubscribed.

I’ll continue to travel this city of 8.5 million inhabitants, who come from over 150 countries, who speak around 800 languages.  Every person is part of our American community.

On our bike festooned with a U.S. flag and our Human Rights First signs, with Jeffrey pedaling and speaking for me, I’ll proclaim Human Rights throughout the city.

And when the pandemic eases and Jeffrey and I once again can pedal across this great land, we’ll renew our love affair with America and Americans, a love that is requited by the fine people we meet.  We’ll resume our Rides to the last nine of the Lower 48 States.  We’ll proclaim Human Rights unto ALL the inhabitants thereof.