It is my constant aim to not be the weirdest guy on the subway. You would think that carrying a patched-up bag and typing on a broken laptop held together by duct tape usually wins me the grand prize, but not in New York. Here I’m speaking of a competition where the weirdos really bring out the big guns. But today, on a particularly empty car, I finally got the gold, shoving a veggie sandwich in my mouth, smearing avocado across my freshly shaven face, and wiping it with the bag like some sort of animal. I didn’t really care. Normally I’m self conscious about the whole thing, because I don’t want to be the weird guy (though, thanks to high school, I have found the solitude it offers greater than the attention that gets me bullied). What I want is to be the good guy.
I want to do right by others. I really, really do. Peter Parker is not a character to me. He’s a goal. A spirit animal. My patronus. And I like to think, beyond the scared and the bad that I’m feeling, that others are just like me. That they are good people, or at the very least, that they want to be good people. That they have the potential for greatness.
I originally wasn’t going to talk about the election results, but they’ve hit me harder than I could have predicted, so it seems irresponsible not to. I have been more responsive to and involved in this election than any before it, maybe due to my ever increasing age, or maybe due to the particular nature of this specific circus. Though my liberal bias is no secret, I have refrained from picking sides or labeling myself by party. At the very least, I try not to think of one side as good and the other as evil. It can feel that way sometimes, but I don’t want that to be a shade of the colors I’m painting with. I’d rather just think anyone of any “side” just wants to be good, whether I understand it or not. And that seemed like enough for me.
When you are on the Hillary side of this election, after all the debates and promises and threats of what a Trump Presidency could mean, this result feels very “end of the world”-y. Hell, New York even looks the part. The day feels like a hangover from life. The overcast sky with perpetual drizzle makes it feel like… oh fuck… I promised I’d never say this, the most trite and overused metaphorical line in movies/tv/comics, and yet I am so out of it, fuck fuck fuck fuck me – !
A storm is coming.
I’m actually still on Italian time, so it’s hard for this not to feel like a bad dream I can’t awaken from. Last night felt like when you wake up having to pee, and yet you stay in bed, determined to go back to sleep and hold it in. I heard my phone buzzing, and I knew what it wanted to tell me. I had nursed my wife’s and my friends’ panic, and all I wanted was to get off the emotional rollercoaster that had been this election. I couldn’t stand to check my phone and know for sure that the boogeyman I had been taunted by had finally won.
It’s just so confusing. I have good things on the horizon, for both my professional career, and for Unlife itself. I want to express… less devastation. This should be a time of hope. Of greatness. I want to be happy for the future to come, and yet it has never felt more full of peril.
Is it? Is it truly? Or am I just a victim of the greatest virus of this election; the media. The ubiquitous windows to internet and TV let us gorge ourselves to the brim with coverage and forecasts, portents of an awful future. We’ve tortured ourselves with scary story after scary story only to find it come true. Is that what life is? Being bombarded by these awful dark tales? Or am I just watching the wrong channel?
I wanted everyone to vote honestly and truly, and to have a huge turnout, not because I wanted Hillary to win. I don’t even think she was part of that for me. I just wanted to see that people were good. That if you got everyone out there, you’d see that they’re good. That they just want to do good and be good and get through this life, not afraid and confused and suspicious of who their neighbors were, but brave and confident, standing side by side next to their fellow humans, no matter what they looked like or where they hailed from. Am I just looking at this wrong way? Is this an overreaction, like the prospect of President Obama storming people’s homes to take their guns away? Maybe. Maybe not. Time will tell.
But when I went to my job and saw others felt the same as me, I knew that we were side by side, still, maybe even tighter than before. We are now living through something that scares us, realistic or not. And I believe that makes us stronger. And for some brief moments of happiness, talking about childhood crushes and laughing about our weird sexual awakening from Gadget of the Rescue Rangers and Chester the Cheetah, we laughed. We forgot we were sad. Life moved on and for a moment it was one worth loving.
I look above at the current chapter and think of the pain I was exorcising as I wrote this, and how faint of a memory it is compared to how raw it felt. How raw I feel about this now. How that pain passed, and if that did, maybe so can this.
Zombies never die. And neither will good. I will never believe that good can die.
Good is mighty. Good exists within us all. I still believe, no matter who won, that there are good people out there who just want to do right by each other. And I believe, looking at history, further back than a certain Jewish genocide, that as mankind has continued, it has progressed. It has stumbled, stepped backwards sometimes, but it has also persevered, recovered, and achieved such greatness. It has always gone forward. Good has always fought the good fight, whatever that means, and marched onwards. The good guys may be the new President and his team. It may be the people who oppose him. It may be a factor we have no way of understanding yet. But good will keep going. Good always continues. Good never stops.
It’s weird like that.