|Posted by Stephen on November 8, 2012 at 2:10 AM|
Life After Election
by Stephen Gillikin
It smelled like ammonia. Ammonia and canned foods. Off in the distance of the halls I caught a few glimpses, heard a few murmurs of the elderly that reside here. It's not everyday I spend time in the lobby of a convalescent home, but on November 6, 2012, it's where I was voting.
I'm not sure if the location was better or not last time. I was literally the only voter inside a car dealership showroom casting my ballot for the California Primary several months back. Bad coffee and new tire smell. Which does help me realize that the old folks home fragrance was comparatively better. It had the smell of a Thanksgiving afternoon. Albeit a terribly depressing and dismal Thanksgiving, but a holiday nonetheless. Whereas the nasal scent of any auto place just makes you recall every time you got raped by some mechanic for 600 bucks and/or had a blistering headache.
None of this is terribly important; I'm supposed to be writing about the election.
Certainly there were a few "third party" choices on the ballot, but obviously it was a one-on-one race between Obama and Romney. Both candidates had mass amounts of people who loved them and mass numbers who abhorred them. I don't really understand wildly loving or hating either one, for here's what I feel the situation really was.
Romney is basically a rather moderate Republican parading as a staunch conservative. And Obama is a leftist Democrat masquerading occasionally as a centrist. The former's a hippo pretending to be an elephant, and the latter's a donkey telling me he's a horse. And I don't quite know how anybody could love either character. I also don't understand how somebody could adamantly hate either, because after all the idea of a hippo in an elephant costume is oddly cute, and if a donkey lied to me I wouldn't care because I'd be so damned impressed that he was able to speak to me in the first place.
We know now the president-to-be is the president-that-already-was, but if say the GOP candidate had won, would the next four years be much different? My gut wager is no. Although there's no way to know anyway. The next four years haven't happened yet, and even once they have, we'll only be able to see what Obama did and not would Romney could have done. Analysts, pundits, and drunks will debate and discuss the hypothetical of "what-if," but ultimately it's a masturbatory digression as worthless as spending the first paragraph and a half of something describing the smells of polling places.
I suppose my point is this: The vastness of space is potentially infinite in our universe, and the vastness of time is just as astronomical. What happens on this tiny rock during a brief blip on the universe's timeline is so incomprehensibly small amongst the bigger picture.
The earth is still turning today. Civilization is still milling about. One day, life as we know it will cease to be. But it won't be because some human got picked over another one to conduct business in an oval office. It'll be because our Sun was dying, swelled up, scorched Earth and all but destroyed it. And that's assuming meteors, rogue black holes, or TLC's roster of shows don't take us out first.
No matter who had won, today life would still be going on.
I'm not demeaning the value of governing ideals, and I'm certainly not advocating nihilism or even basic apathy. We should vote; we should care. However, when things don't go quite the way we pushed for, it's still OK. I mean, it's not like Roseanne Bar got elected. Although somehow nearly 50,000 people voted for her. Ironic pranksters mostly, I assume. And maybe some Raiders fans; those cretins are always willing to do something violent and stupid.
But as it is, people went to work today. Our planet is still revolving around a hot ball of gas. Mechanics are still taking the piss out of customers. Convalescents are still eating creamed corn in a never-ending sad holiday.
And all this could be written and said regardless of what happened November 6th. Hell, maybe this was even written before then; I'm not telling you.
Ultimately, none of this terribly important; I'm only writing about the election.
Stephen Gillikin currently lives out the trunk of his car in whereabouts unknown. He's known to on occasion, take photos in bars with strangers who wear American flag apparel..