To any survivors:
It’s November ninth. I’m broadcasting to you from a bunker deep underground near the Earth’s core where it’s still warm. The election was yesterday, and we all know what happened. But in case you don’t know—in case you didn’t vote, you coward, or you person who lost hope and just freaking hated the whole thing that has become normal, it’s nuclear winter. (It happened fast.) Nuclear winter is like regular winter, but with nukes. Ash and death. Somewhere, a radioactive dog barks and gnaws on its leg. Its eyes are neon green, like you’d expect. Its blood is glowing purple. Somewhere else, a deranged cat knocks over a tin garbage can. Somewhere, people still use tin garbage cans. Total depravity.
I’m the only one left. I made it to my personal bunker just in time to escape the mass hysteria. Luckily for me, I was already living in the woods underneath some peat moss and a tank cannon shaped like a tree trunk. I knew this was coming. I’ve been saying it for years. I’ve been hoarding gasoline and milk ever since both candidates were introduced. Note to self: hoarding milk is a bad idea.
After the eighth, everyone just started nuking each other with their personal nukes. All the people who threatened to move out of the country depending on won the election, actually moved, thank goodness. And they did it fast. They left in the night. We didn’t need that negativity anyway.
What can men do against such reckless hate?
Yes on 1, no on 2, why on 3, Colonel Mustard with the candlestick in the living room on 4. Marijuana is now legal in some states, probably. Reefer madness is now a thing, maybe. I don’t know, because I’m writing this on the eighth.
It’s 5:37 p.m. and it’s pitch black outside because of daylight savings. Thanks Obama.
It’s warm for a November night, almost 60 degrees. A soft breeze is blowing in the trees, the last leaves are still clinging to their branches, cheating death. One spirals to the ground, silently, slowly, waiting to become something else.
Nothing is new under the sun.
I’m so sick of the candidates that I don’t want to say their names.
I’m so tired of the negative ads that I don’t have the desire to make fun of them.
NPR interviewed a psychologist who has been diagnosing people with something called “Election Fatigue.” After watching the debates and negative ads, it turns out people are more likely to be argumentative and short-tempered with their loved ones. And to nuke them.
Why does it feel like this country is falling apart. Oh yeah, fear.
I was in Haiti for their elections one year. It was 2000, and we were on a missions trip to save the country. For twelve days we helped at an orphanage in Port Au Prince, carrying trash and rubble out of buildings with wheel barrels and five gallon buckets. I was thirteen-years-old. I didn’t know about “When Helping Hurts” and I didn’t ask myself “Who was I really doing this for?” because I was helping the kids in the orphanage by working on their building. Duh. We were driving in our truck when a group rolled a burning tire down a hill at us. It struck our vehicle, and we quickly reversed and drove away. While people peppered our truck with rocks, I said, “Just when you think you’re making friends, people start throwing rocks.” People laughed in the back of the truck, and one of the women brushed tears away from her face, and I was smiling. Didn’t have a care in the world.
Why does this one feel extra-important? Extra-heavy. Extra-depressing. I know that today, when this is out, people will be praising the new president, and the losers will be hating the winner and everyone who supported them.
I won, you lost.
General negativity about the next four years.
I’ve learned that you can’t change people’s hearts by hating them. You can’t will someone to be different. You can’t do it by calling them names or making generalizations about their upbringing or family or state or country of origin. You can’t listen to people when you are accusing them. You can’t treat people as humans if you think of them as objects or consumers. Whoever wins, both sides are guilty of all of these things.
We’ll need healing after this.
Here are some nice words:
Compassion. Civility. Joy. Comfort. Friendship. Laughter. Nature. Sunshine. Family. Christmas. Cake. Christmas Cake. Angel food cake. Food, in general. Graciousness.
To any survivors:
Be a gracious winner.
Be a gracious loser.
Bart Tocci (’11) lives in Boston where he writes essays, performs at open mics, and threatens to start taco restaurants. He’s been told that he looks like the kind of guy who stands up for what’s right. And who goes to the store before the party. Read more here: barttocci.wordpress.com