Like everybody else, I’ve spent 2016 thinking about how our present campaign season will never end. At least, I think I’ve spent 2016 thinking about it — but what seems far more likely, upon reflection, is that we aren’t living in any particular year…
We all died. We all went straight to the Pit.
And this election will never end for any of us, because it never actually started; it has simply been forever, will always be forever. What, did you think hell was a bunch of stalactites and bursts of fire?
Of course not, silly. Hell is Donald J. Trump bragging about his withered septuagenarian dong on the presidential debate stage, over and over and over and over, and refusing to concede if he loses, which he never will, because no winner is ever going to be declared, because we are in hell.
In your heart, you know it’s true. You know we’re all damned to Trump v. Clinton for eternity.
It feels as if three weeks ago, you were saying “only three more weeks,” right? That’s because the concept of weeks — of years, of decades, of centuries, of millennia, lo, of time itself — is meaningless here. This has all happened before and none of it has happened yet and it will all happen again. Time is a flat circle, just like Trump’s blond weave.
Was Mephistopheles not a crimson goat all along, but rather an orange pig?
Is Trump himself the manifestation of Lucifer, or merely a lower-level demon who serves the dark master, responsible for doling out our ceaseless, sadistic punishment?
Anything’s possible, but practically speaking, it doesn’t really matter. We will spend infinity wanting to puke every time we read the news, watching all of our basic democratic norms (and our very psyches) torn asunder and realizing that bigotry is just as alive as ever, that Germans never had any special inherent evil but rather merely the broken human condition of our uncles and our aunts and our high school friends on Facebook and a surprising percentage of our Uber drivers.
We will spend the rest of time finding it disgustingly easier to make peace with Hillary’s Iraq vote and Wall Street fundraisers and hesitancy to support gay marriage until five minutes ago and pretty much being the system personified, because at least she’d be a competent technocrat, not an unstable narcissistic demagogue who’d nuke the entire world. Can you even nuke hell?
(Wait. Holy shit. Maybe we all died when Trump unleashed the nukes, and a wrathful God — or Gaia the Earth Mother or David Bowie or whoever — sent us here for electing him in the first place, to reenact our decision again and again, each repetition more horrific than the last. Mind. Blown.)
Nobody’s voting their conscience in this election; if we actually had consciences, we wouldn’t be in hell, would we?
Getting through each day for the next billion aeons will feel like surviving yet another war. And we’ll never be able to get PTSD counseling, because there will never be a “P.”
Welcome to 2016. There is no such thing as death to escape it — after all, that’s how we must’ve gotten here in the first place.