I still check the news twenty time a day. When I finish a task at work, a breaking-point. After a run. When I wake up, when I go to bed. When I head off to the loo. Sometimes I go to the bathroom simply to read the news. No prying eyes, no one counting my obsessions. “You’re checking the news, again?”
How long will I keep it up? Nothing ever happens anymore. Well stuff happens, just nothing unpredictable. A Mars landing, bills kicking their way through congress, vaccine distribution ramping up. Harry and Meghan articles are back. Things have gotten boring, routine.
Exactly a month ago, I wrote There’s No Bottom. The Republican House representatives just absolved Marjorie Taylor Greene for her violent speech, her threatening behavior, her hurtful beliefs. No, they didn’t like it—some of them, anyway—but they didn’t do anything about it.
My final straw. I wigged. Do you know this term? I flipped my wig, I went nuts. This episode, further proof that America lost its way. They kept coming, these egregious examples, lower and lower. There’s no bottom. Except there is. Was. The mayhem of January sixth, clearly the climax, an explosion that blasted away the remnants of the Trump years. And the month after that? The death knell. A pathetic gathering many hours past midnight, drunks using a vodka cap to throw back shots, the only bottle of booze left in the house after the real party ended. That month was the hangover.
Years ago, I woke many mornings with scant memories about what happened the night before. Always, I was in that group drinking shots as the sun came up—a few pitiful souls without the good sense to go to bed. In my college dorm, guys waking up with the dawn, maybe to use the bathroom, maybe to start their day, would walk past my open door and shake their head. Me, trying to milk a few extra hours out of the weekend, refusing to face the fact that Saturday night was over. My bottom, at least for a that week.
I love the calm that’s descended on the country. The adults have returned from their vacation to clean up the mess, untrash the house, repair the furniture. It’s difficult to put myself back in the mindset of 2020, the disgust I felt every day, just like it’s hard to fully comprehend my destructive drinking years. Without alcohol in my life, I pop out of bed daily at five a.m. I live a straight and sober life. Predictable, maybe a bit dull, but I always know where to find my car.