The ex-con was finally heading home. He ignored the noisy college kids on the bus and stared out the window until, after a rest stop, a young woman sat down next to him and struck up a conversation. He told her that he’d been in prison for four years and that his wife hadn’t written in three and a half.
In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of the end of slavery. The new air of freedom brought an unintoxicated euphoria. But a century later, freedom was redefined, this time as an absence of responsibility. The new air of license was inhaled and produced an intoxicated forgetfulness of anything that smacked of authoritarian inhibitions or paralyzing parameters.