It's Not The End Of The World But You Might Wish It Were

And other answers to unsolicited questions.

Image: Steven Guzzardi

“Friday is the end of the world and we’ll all be dead by the middle of next week, right?” — Worried Walt

Take it easy, snowflake. I hope I’m using that term correctly. I like snowflakes, but only when they’re falling and not when they’re all piled up and in my way. No one’s got time for belly-aching. We should cherish the time we have left on this earth and not use it to worry about things we cannot control. Like the next president of the United States. Or earthquakes. Or even the TV show ‘The Bachelor.’

It’s not going to be fun for however long Donald Trump is President. Thoughtful, sensitive people will have a hard time. People who read newspapers or magazines. Those who watch television. Or who think about things. Twitterers. Even the people that voted for him will probably soon turn on him. Because if there was a picture of what someone who shouldn’t be president in some book somewhere, that picture would be of Donald Trump.

But it’s the waiting that’s really driving you nuts. Friday still seems like a lifetime away and things are always worse when they are off in the fuzzy, near-future. Let’s just tear the seventh seal off and get this apocalypse started, am I right? Well, Friday will come soon enough. But your dread is really just your body telling you that the grapes are just a little too-far off for your little fox snout.

That we really have control over anything is an illusion, one that you should relieve yourself of. That’s what gives you ulcers. If three people in your car on your road trip decide to drive off a cliff, there’s nothing you can do, is there? You can make a protest sign in your back seat, or call your senator. But you’re still going over the cliff, Thelma and Louise. That’s why we live in a democracy. You’re only as smart as your dumbest majority.

You can’t really blame people for voting for Donald Trump. His way of approaching all of his problems is unimpeachable: tweet insults about it. That’s what I do when an airline loses my bags or there aren’t enough Ikes in my box of Mike and Ikes. It gets results. They will probably send you an envelope with some Mikes in it.

And I understand people don’t like Hillary Clinton. I can barely stand anybody, myself included.

But let’s not completely give into despair, sheeple. Let’s just let despair get to you naturally when it will, like the rising water in a bathtub. Sure, people of intelligence are going to have it rough for a while. Sometimes you’re on top of the wheel, sometimes the wheel grinds your face into the concrete. We will have to bounce back and forth between lilypads, like Frogger, waiting for the new president to tweet out his edicts. There’s worse way to get information. Flaming poo and pitch slung from a catapult, for starters. Or a voicemail message.

Make love like there’s no tomorrow. Some Republicans want to do away with pornography. So make sure to back up all your pornography. You can’t worry about death. You can worry about slowly fading away in a world in which lies are the truth and down is up. So refuse to be gaslamped. There’s more of us than there are of them. So find each other, be of comfort to one another. Fuck each other. Then make sure to back up that other person’s pornography.

Sarcasm, humor and snark: these are the last resorts of the pathetic and powerless. So break the glass and start using that stuff. Laughter may be the sound of an emotion inside you dying, but it also makes you feel a whole lot better. So why not go for it? Superior people are going to get to feel very superior for a while. Compared to Donald Trump the person sitting next to you on the subway is Thomas Merton. In both directions! We’re all in this together. We could be there for each other. In the small ways that mean something when added up. Being polite and thoughtful. Holding doors open. Not foisting a maniacal ego monster on people in the future.

It will probably take a while for us to get used to Trump and the new circle of Hell we are entering. Someday soon we will ignore his tweets. We won’t worry about him every second. And then we’ll know that we’ve truly died on the inside. Everyone’s dying, though. How bad could it be. It’s not the end of the world but you might wish it were. We survive even the Donald Trumps of the world. But it feels a little bit like dying.

Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ and works at a bookstore.