It all started when he said to keep drinking the Kool-aid

Of the many curious things that happened in 2016, I got a contact from a reader who disagreed with something I wrote. I think he was responding to a post picking apart one of Governor LePage’s “welfare reform” ideas. This reader told me, among other things, to keep drinking the Kool-aid.

Which happens to be one of those catch phrases that irritates the heck out of me, I mean, Jim Jones references?!?

It wasn’t a day I felt like being irritated. I should have waited until I was in a better mood, but I didn’t. I emailed him back and asked him if he ever noticed that the kind of people who used that phrase had exactly the kind of minds Jim Jones was probably looking for.

And I wished him well with the over-simplistic perspective.

Out of nowhere, my response entertained him. This reader emailed me back to apologize for being too rude in his initial contact and complimented my ability to stand my ground. After a couple more emails in the chain later, we became email friends.

It turns out that we do agree about some things politically and about others we disagree, which is okay. We’re both into music and swap links from time to time. He turned me on to Andra Day, and I cannot believe I hadn’t heard of her before!

I offer the song he shared and the story of its sharing as food for thought as we welcome a new year.


A little spur of the moment, Trish free verse for the new year, as well:

I hope the New Year finds us getting better at understanding

That we are in this together

Whether we like it or not

Sometimes that’s a good thing when you’re surrounded by faces

That are familiar

Or that are easy to accept as fellow human beings.

And sometimes it sucks that we’re all in this together

Like when it’s hard to believe

That guy saying all that stuff that pisses you off is

A fellow human being

Or that unkempt person talking to herself while she walks down the street is 

A fellow human being

Or that woman on the other side of the world with her head wrapped and worried

About keeping her babies safe with all the bombs and the gunfire is

A fellow human being

And in the whisper that is our lifetime

We’re all in this together.

Each and every one of us.

Our inability to accept this reality is 

All that is stopping us

From saving us

From ourselves.


Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.