heaven holds a place for those who pray
This time, I almost died.
Some other people did die, in fact; we lost my grandmother (when they called to tell us she passed, my mother sat on the sofa crying for a few minutes and then looked at me and said, "This is the first time in my life my mother hasn’t just been there. Now I’m going to have to call myself fat."), and the family cat (the elderly brindle gentleman looking into the mirror in those exceedingly sepia’d photos I posted a couple of years ago), both under extremely depressing dementia-related circumstances. My grandmother went from "crotchety old lady who had to be looked after occasionally but was basically fine" to "frail convalescent requiring constant care in a nursing home" in about six months and for no discernible reason, and then she stopped speaking or interacting with anyone, and then she died in her sleep a few days later — just about a month after her 83rd birthday. The cat got freakishly skinny and refused to eat, and then began to spend every waking moment pacing/peeing on the floor. When it was determined that he couldn’t be treated (he was 17) and appeared obviously to be suffering, we agreed to have him put down. The day he was taken away to be euthanized, I don’t think he even recognized me. It was, bewilderingly, almost worse than losing a person. He weighed almost nothing in my hands, and his vacant eyes reminded me of a toy’s. No fair, Death.
Afterwards, I got really sick. I developed pneumonia and a weird traveling infection that refused to stop inhabiting my respiratory tract; it was a very Victorian moment. But I got better! That’s what matters. I ate a lot of Twinkies instead of food (because pills), and I got better. After that, things were pretty okay for a while, and then just recently my mother almost died after a very routine medical test — she went into shock and had some sort of exciting cardiopulmonary event. She’s now doing incredibly well, given the circumstances, except for the fact that she contracted a staph infection because she had to be rushed to a substandard local hospital for emergency treatment.
Other than that, though, things have gone great.
Well, I mean. There was that fucking election! That was not great. That was pretty much an outré postmodern live-action dictionary pantomime of "not great," holy motherfucking shit. We might’ve finally managed to elect a president who will be removed from office by the Avengers in his first 100 days! What a world.
For what it’s worth (nothing), I cosign Jamelle Bouie’s framing of the quantum intersection between racism and the modal straight white American voter — probably most of these poor silly bastards would vote for a chicken running on the Party Of Free Pancakes From Hitler With Love platform if it promised to punish Wall Street for committing fraud and create some decent jobs that didn’t require a college diploma.1 That doesn’t make any sense to me either, but I’m not the modal straight white American voter.
Also, I just now found this essay, which ends thusly:
But the truth is, we don’t know. If all the predictions were so far off, why should we think the post-election analysis, with all its instant pseudo-certainty, is any smarter or more accurate? What do we know now that we didn’t know before, except that the story wasn’t what we thought it was and that it didn’t go where we thought it was going to go? I am not sure of anything right now, except that on the morning after the election there was a big piece of shit in a doorway and I didn’t know what it meant or how it got there, and that someone was going to have a wretched, smelly time trying to clean it up.That’s no, "He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning." I suppose it will have to do.
I’ve also been finding it useful to remember that Trumpists make up about 48% of the the 58%-ish of Americans who voted in the election. Haha! Hahahaha. Ha. 👀
Another important lesson from the election that we can all take home and eat is an empirical refutation of the hypothesis that (biological, cis-) women can be counted upon to behave like feminists just because they’re women — especially if they’re also straight and/or white. If you have three straight white American women in a room and you play them that Trump pussy-grabbing tape, one of them will think he’s a monster and empathize with his hypothetical victims, one will think, "Oh God, I wish a powerful and important man like Donald Trump would grab me by the pussy!", and one will think, "Well, if she wasn’t standing there dressed like a slut he wouldn’t be able to grab her, would he? Stay at home with your legs closed, whore!" In public, Women #2 and #3 are a lot quieter than Woman #1, but they still vote. Irony!
Also, who would've predicted that we’d be finding evil Russians under the bed again in 2016, but that in this sequel they’d be best friends with the quasi-fascist right-wing imbeciles who used to witch-hunt them all night long?
While I was convalescing and grieving and contemplating the murder of my television on November 9th, I was also reading books and writing book reviews, because I am a gigantic nerd. I have 70+ single-novel short-stack reviews ready to go, as well as story-by-story reviews of around 12 collections, and a few normal-length book reviews too. I’m going to start posting them here twice a week (or more often if I get very bored), starting on Wednesday.
Don’t laugh, I’m really doing it this time.
One day, I may even review The Quincunx.
(I’m also remaking my other website, because why quit now.)
See you Wednesday!!!
- Why the hell anyone would run on a "college for everybody forever" platform in order to appeal to people who could barely make it through high school — and who watched their own grand/children barely make it through high school — eludes me. That was not a good policy, Democratic Party. Let’s replace that policy with something less awful soon.