Monday, October 10, 2016

Random Observations by a Recently Turned 55-Year-Old Sitting Out the 2016 Presidential Debates

With more photos of the creeping autumn in Monte Vista, CO, to break up the hellish monotony.

I generally avoid politics and current events on this blog. The few times I’ve attempted it I felt like a fraud for how hard I had to try to force myself to care about the subject after a few sentences. I also had that sick feeling in my gut that someone, somewhere was bound to lose their composure over one of my entirely harmless opinions, and I’d had to deal with that ugly drama. No, thank you. There is so much to do. I can’t imagine who has time for that, even as I waste time laughing over the insults traded in the various hashtag wars on Twitter.
The view leaning from the dormer window of my office as the sun rose through the trees the morning of my birthday. I’m still alive; I’m still in Colorado. I’ll just have to take it from here.

Because it was my birthday recently, and I can’t believe I’m still here after 55 years when so many of my betters have gone before me, I’ll indulge in a prediction for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It’s guaranteed to drive you out of your mind with rage—or something—so, first, I insist you look at these photos of the distant San Juan Mountains. We’re looking west down US 160 as the highway leaves Monte Vista for Del Norte.

All right. Here it comes. Trigger warnings, shields up, charge phasers....

See those mountains? Look at those mountains. On Wednesday, 9 November, the Earth will turn thus and bless their steep flanks with sunlight. 
The Sangre de Cristos, too, as seen one mile east inside Alamosa County from Rio Grande County along US 160, looking north towards the range north and west of the Sierra Blanca Massif. I still can’t get over the flat-as-a-flippin’-steamrollered-pancake nature of this 7,600-foot high valley.

It doesn’t have to be direct sunlight. There could be fog, making for an especially chill and gloomy morning. It will be November, after all.

But there will be light on those hills. And wherever you are, you’ll be there in it, too.
I’m not sure where I am here. Somewhere around Monte Vista. It was pretty enough to take the photo. Yeah, I know, I should have rolled down the window.

Whoever wins the election, America will not “die.” The missiles will not launch. The streets will not roil with riot and revolution. The world as you know it will not end.

Let me tell you what will happen.
The trains will run whenever the hell they want. Deal with it.

Birds will sing. Babies will be born. Old people will die. Others will die for no damn good reason. Others will go into work. Plans will be made for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This sign on S. Broadway in Monte
says it all for our current existential
condition. Just hangin’ in there,
barely concealing our shame for
our inadequacy.
Another beloved entertainer will die. There will be a surprise hit at the box office. An infectious song will cause people to post humorous videos of themselves singing along in front of their phones. One of these videos will go viral.

The sun will rise in the morning. It will set in the evening. The wind will blow cold in the winter. It will be insufferably hot come summer. An outbreak of severe weather will flatten rows of homes somewhere in the Midwest. Nor’easters and hurricanes will flood cities on the eastern seaboard. Wildfires will change lives and landscapes in the west.

The news media will run brief clips of all of the above before going into gushing coverage of the celebrity couple’s marriage, as if if to say, Here’s some good news to cheer you up! while you go about the lonely routine that is your life. Or continue the happy, thrill-a-minute adventure that is your life. Either way, unless you’re in that fire, or under that cloud, or one of those celebrities getting married, your life won’t change.
Wouldn’t you love to live here? Me, too. Tough.

If you are one of those rare, illuminated souls who observes a regimented schedule, diet, etc., towards self-improvement, you already know what I’m talking about. The rest of you are irritated, if not outraged.

It’s okay. I’m 55. By the time either one of my parents was my age, they’d been dead for years from their respective cancers. How long could I possibly have to live? I’ll suffer, I’ll die. You win! Why wait ‘til then to throw your party? I’m dying as you read this. Be happy now!
The Lombardy poplars screening our front yard, as seen from the northwest corner of our house. James Robert Smith told me they’d turn golden in the fall. He was right.

Or not. Far be it for me to tell you what to do. Get your rocks off getting worked up over the latest Punch ‘n’ Judy show that either side will claim to have won by Monday morning if that’s your thing.

Me, I’ve got my usual chores and obligations. October is still pretty, and I feel honored to be here for my 56th. I’ve only got so many of these things left, if any. I think I’ll write another zombie book.

Neither presidential candidate will stop me. They won’t be stopping you, either. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to work. Have a nice day. Or not. None of my business, of course. It’s up to you.