When you decide to drive from Brooklyn to North Dakota with a friend to join the water protectors at Standing Rock, and a childhood friend posts on Facebook his estimate of how many gallons of crude oil your trip will take to justify the need for the pipeline you’re ostensibly protesting, and your first night in your cheap tent is so bone-achingly cold that even four layers and a heavy sleeping bag can’t keep you from shaking constantly, and you finally go into your car, turn it on, and promptly fall asleep until your friend wakes you up at 3am banging on the window and saying, “They’re gonna need the whole pipeline just to give you a good night’s sleep!” Turn off the engine and watch the morning sun rise in a corner of the hilltops, until the sun turns off and you realize that’s not the sun, it’s the bright light of workers on the pipeline toiling through the night. Then listen at 5am to a series of large trucks barreling down the camp entrance and a megaphoned voice yelling, “It’s a great morning! Time for some peaceful protest! We’ve been up for three hours, how about you?” and see the people camped next to you turn on their truck and a bright spotlight shines out the back of it as they prepare their fire, and hear someone shout, “Turn that off! People’s trying to pray! Show some respect!” from a camp on the other side of you. It should not be lost on you that this person is probably also yelling at you, since you are the one who’s been running your car all night. This is what the camp orientation leaders meant when they said your privilege is getting in the way.

What are the Sneaky Feels?

AuthorJohn Proctor