John R. Hall
Little Ricky / John R. Hall

Donald Trump (the 45th) has all rational Americans feeling like porcupines in a balloon factory. No matter which way we turn, there are ominous orbs. There’s danger. There are explosions and bad vibrations coming from every direction—there’s a relentless assault on our sanity.

A porcupine stuck in a balloon factory has no chance of finding an exit. With every step—pop-pop, pop-pop, boom! Leaving the poor creature in a terrified, frantic, psychotic state. Its only hope to escape continuous trauma and avoid a full-blown nervous breakdown is to stumble into a corner like some Bowery drunk of yore. Once there, it cannot rest to catch its breath. Its hyperventilation, resulting from the nonstop attack on its psyche and prickly existence, must continue unabated. With any luck, its persistent exhaling will have enough velocity to create a Venturi effect of sorts, and the lousy latex will be held at bay; it’ll be blown away, but only at quill’s length. If the rodential mammal momentarily loses its oxygenic cadence, catastrophe will cometh.

Isn’t that how you feel by the end of each new Trumpian day? Unable to catch your breath? I know it’s how I feel. It’s exhausting. I grab my rum and coke, head to the corner, and try to stop my mental panting. I try to catch my cognitive breath. I sit stunned. Shocked. Concerned. Fearful. I try to find a way to keep Trump at arm’s length so I can fall asleep. Peaceful slumber has disappeared, though. These days, I am capable only of Darwinian sleep. A few Maslowian moments of rest and safety are all that I can expect. That’s enough for my being to be prepared for another day in Trump’s America. I never thought I’d long for Reagan’s Shiny City on a Hill. But I’d trade in Trump in a New York second for a Reaganite. I’d rejoice in that brand of assault on democracy. I’d feel fortunate to have at least avoided the apocalypse.

Every morning when I wake, I am as nervous as a porcupine in a balloon factory. Like a prickly rodent in that environment, I am unable to focus. My overwhelming instinct is to see if the world outside remains somewhat intact. Morning duties that were once mundane are now full of anxiety. Apprehension permeates every step as I approach my computer. Complete mental and cathartic collapse looms as I think of turning on the TV. While both are idle, I repeatedly chant ignorance is bliss with the hopes of obtaining enlightenment.

I desire divine intervention in the form of an epiphany. Some kind of spiritual knowledge that would allow me to simply and confidently disengage. Maybe like Buddha, I could sit under a tree for forty-nine days and afterward rise as the Awakened One. The One Free of Trump. Or maybe I could encase myself in my home like a caterpillar in a cocoon, and wait for the transformation . . . to a new beautiful day—one without Trump.

Ignorance is bliss, ignorance is bliss, ignorance is bliss, ignorance is bliss fails me. Sitting in reflective Buddha style, or encasing myself like a caterpillar, neither is any good for this rambunctious boy. I have even tried George Harrison’s drill, which seemed to work so well for him: “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare,” but to no avail. It too fails me. Just as all spiritual mantras and religious invocations have failed me.

As always, there’s one exception to the rule. There is one thing that allows me to navigate Trump’s daily land mines. It lets me crawl out of my corner like a trapped porcupine that’s had enough. It allows me to defiantly wake, to rouse my computer and to turn on the TV. After I start my day with it, I am again steeled. I am resolved that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Resolute to reclaim America, our land of liberty, I sit at my computer each morning and play humanity’s anthem. After I hear John Lennon sing, I am again able to rise and fight Trump with all my might because I can “Imagine there’s no heaven . . . You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”

Post Scriptum: This article is dedicated to my dear friend, Mr. Gordon A. Friday (friend extraordinari), for listening to me ramble on beyond what any human being should have to endure, and for continuing to ask me: “When are you going to write?”

Copyright © 2017 – Hunting For Thompson – All Rights Reserved

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John R. Hall is the author of Red, White, and the Blues: A Long and Hard Ride over Treacherous Terrain. He is a James Copley Scholarship for Journalism recipient. John studied journalism, psychology, communications and the dramatic arts at City College, San Diego, California. John has largely traveled through life as a single and childless rolling stone, collecting little moss. He has been employed in numerous industries: first as a KFC dishwasher, then a Red Lion busboy, followed by soda jerking for Dairy Queen. All of that occurred before Uncle Sam whispered in his ear and he donned the olive drab green as a soldier in the U.S. Army. After that non-Yankee Doodle Dandy duty was over, he attempted a career in entertainment, performing comedy and magic. When those opportunities disappeared, John reappeared in the transportation industry as a taxi and truck driver. He's been a barkeep, a hotel manager, a street performer, a professional student, a business manager, a dispatcher, an oil field professional, an IT/IS professional, and a self-imposed gig economy prisoner (aka worker); he's even been a procurer of substances. John developed and maintains Hunting For, Red White and the, and John R. All of this basically makes him an omnipotent . . . (in his own mind, which, as he says: "Is all that counts.")