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The Forever-Lost Battle for Bridgeport, Connecticut

First founded circa 1643, Bridgeport, Connecticut had once been one of the great social and economic hubs of the ever-flourishing American Northeast.

From its bustling, early days as a centralized seaport and industrial Mecca nestled within the Original 13 British Colonies of the North American Eastern Coastline of the new world, Bridgeport, Connecticut enjoyed an extensive period of wealth and social plenty which continued without restraint over the course of 3 centuries.

However, the history of this city gets cloudy, somewhere in the middle of the 20th Century.

My name is Fantaisha Clivics, and I had been born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in the year 2175 A.D…I think.

The Bridgeport, Connecticut I know and loathe is not a city that anyone with any working memory within a 70 mile circumference of it ever remembers or fondly obsesses over with nostalgia, compassion or sensitivity.

The Bridgeport, Connecticut I’ve lived in for the entirety of my life is nothing more than a gleaming relic of sulfurous mendacity and caustic woe, which has left me and everyone else I’ve ever known a victim of forces beyond our capacity to understand or grapple with.

Earlier, I mentioned a sort of “black hole” in the historical narrative of Bridgeport, CT. somewhere in the last quarter of the 20th century: the old ones who have been here their entire lives claim that, sometime in the 1960s, some sort of social upheaval began which forced the white people to almost utterly abandon Bridgeport because of some strange occurrence that they refer to as the “Civil Rights Intrusion”.

Allegedly, this intrusion had been made by my ancestors as they arrived in this area to claim some new, liberated piece of American society. However, the old ones of today claim that this led to the beginning of wide-spread crime, destitution and civil unrest that the city never even remotely recovered from.

However, the old ones are wrong. I know that for a fact. I taught myself how to read, just a little. I struggled with the old, paper-bound books from years past that so many people of the 22nd century have allowed to simply, slowly rot in this filthy madhouse.

Once, Bridgeport, Connecticut had been a popular tourist attraction and business capital, as it had housed the headquarters for divisions of (apparently) important and influential companies with names I don’t recognize like “Columbia Records” and “General Electric”.

However, that would all seem to be in the dim, shadowy past: I can’t imagine this city ever being a place people wanted to live in. 

Today, in the year 2198 A.D., Bridgeport has no real memory or livelihoods worth engaging at length. Our architecture, culture and living spaces are both far too open and a good deal too heavily populated to allow for free thought or too much good manners.

The only thing that I had read about that made any sense (and may explain the way Bridgeport, Connecticut fell into so much in the way of evil cruelty and daily dread) had been stories I’ve read about a man named P.T. Barnum. This man named Barnum had owned something called a “Circus”, and he lived in Bridgeport, became something called a “mayor” for this city while running this circus thing, and brought a great deal of money and fame to the city in his day.

I also learned that he had been a bit of a con-artist, who said that “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

It all makes sense, now. After reading how, as late as the year 2013, Bridgeport, Connecticut was both the most densely populated city in the State of Connecticut, the fifth largest city in a region that they called back then “New England” as well as one of the poorest cities in the entire United States, I could see how people in this City of Bridgeport, Connecticut were fools then, and they never stopped being suckers. Never. Stopped.

I am a black woman. Men say I’m beautiful. Men are full of shit. I live in Bridgeport. I lost my virginity to my own step-father, before I even knew how to walk well. The only enjoyment I have ever had in this life is being able to ride my Hover-Hog above the horrors of this dank city that the government won’t allow me or anyone else born here to leave, under threat of imprisonment…or worse.

It never made sense to me. I learned how to use chemicals I’d found in the water supply and apply it to my hair, so that it would resemble something else I’d read about called “dread-locks”.

I don’t care about the threat anymore. I’ve loaded explosives onto my Hover-hog, and I’m going to ride to the edge of the city limits, where the government stops all of us…what were those terms I’d read… “Niggers, Spics and Poor White Trash”….well, all of those—all of us, all of me-- from getting to a better place.

I grit my teeth, as I wait for the large Patrol vehicle high and behind me to veer toward me. I say that the final blast will be beautiful. I’m not full of shit. I know more about this city than the old ones, but I’m not even sure how old I am.

This sucker’s about to die, any minute.

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