President Trump has all rational, sane 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. It cannot pull focus. 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 rodentian 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 I do. 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 am able to fall asleep. Peaceful slumber has disappeared though. These days, I am only capable of Darwinian sleep. A few Maslowian moments of rest and safety is 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 awake, I am as nervous as a porcupine in a balloon factory. Like that prickly rodent in that environment, I am unable to focus. My overwhelming instinct is to immediately see if the world outside remains somewhat intact. Morning duties which 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 did, I could just sit under a tree for forty-nine days and afterwards 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 are any good for this rambunctious boy. I have even tried George Harrison’s drill that 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 mantra’s 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 landmines. It lets me crawl out of my corner like a trapped porcupine that’s had enough. It allows me to defiantly awake, to wake 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 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 “those” 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?”
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