“a gun on every table”

Excerpt from Chapter 8 of LONELYHEARTS 2016:

(in which Miss Lonelyhearts finally–at his friend’s insistence–gives in and watches Trump’s “hilarious” candidacy announcement.)

My laughter persisted while I fished for cigarette number four. Okay, this wasn’t so bad after all; mostly just the loud and bloated incoherence of a demented, dying man, who’d never truly grown an ounce in his life because he was given money instead of love or guidance. Just as I’d expected. I laughed because I needed to; it made me feel like I wasn’t afraid of him, like I wasn’t afraid of what he was bringing out in people. As long as I laughed, he would just be some spoiled little boy who could never really hurt me, because he’d cheated and bought his way through school, and eventually through his entire career. Whereas I had struggled. And had to learn.

He was telling the audience not to believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics; he said the ‘real’ unemployment rate was three or four times what the data revealed. I laughed even harder; who was THIS FUCKING MANIAC to tell people what to believe?

Then he mentioned nuclear weapons, and the laughter stopped. I became a homeless orphan as the whole world burned and I lost all feeling. People and their buildings unknowingly melted into shadows all around me. Survivors developed the beginnings of the cancer that would rot their grandchildren’s insides. Centuries passed, and poisoned people grew poisoned things from poisoned earth. Humanity died without living.

OUCH. I flicked the filter out the window without looking, then lifted the burnt flesh to my mouth, to suck and lick the warmth–at first, to soothe the burn; but I gradually became aroused by the salty, pulsing soot of my fingers. So I closed my eyes and pressed my face against it, and slid my tongue into it. All was probing, reactionary dampness.

Hot water spilled onto my chest, causing me to re-enter the moment, with a full-body jerk. Panicked, I braced my laptop, then heaved a relieving sigh at its safety. Was I crying, or were my eyes just irritated? I reached for another cigarette as I heard him, and remembered where I was.

Well, you need somebody, because politicians are all talk, no action. Nothing’s gonna get done. They will not bring us–believe me–to the Promised Land. They will not. . . I will be the greatest jobs president that god ever created.

I chain-smoked with blurry eyes as I continued to watch Trump’s ramble: comparing politics to football, saying he was ‘really rich,’ and then apparently trying to say ‘braggadocious’ before giving up and deciding it was too ambitious of a word for him. I allowed myself to chuckle at his incompetence, even though I knew the world was ending. He rambled through some more nonsense, before circling back to his favorite topic: his wealth.

nobody knows what I’m worth. And the one thing is that when you run, you have to announce and certify to all sorts of governmental authorities your net worth. So I said, ‘That’s OK.’ I’m proud of my net worth.

This led him to an exhaustive listing of his business dealings and their estimated worth; but he assured the audience he wasn’t doing it to brag:

I don’t HAVE to brag,’ he bragged.

He transitioned clumsily into saying he would build a wall between America and Mexico (and somehow make Mexico pay for it?) And then he promised to protect Americans’ guns. Not their families, just their guns. Guns were the only one of the two he mentioned protecting, anyway. In fact: every time he’d said the word ‘family’ at all during the speech, he was only referring to his own. Just to name them, to say how ‘great’ they were, and how ‘proud’ he was. Only once did he notably mention being inspired by an American citizen that wasn’t blood-related to him. He talked of a nameless woman: someone he’d seen on TV, talking about a local crime, whom he then felt compelled to call: ‘and she said, ‘You know, Mr. Trump, I was always against guns. I didn’t want guns. And now, since this happened . . . We now have a gun on every table.

‘‘We’re ready to start shooting,’’ this terrified woman told Trump, to which he replied: ‘Very interesting.

Not too bad, I told myself; just typical dictator shit.


You can also read the full FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS here!

Love always,

real cover

Be gentle; this is only a tentative cover.

Miss L.

Open your heart to me?

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