November 7, 2016

Got Those Pre-Election-Nameless-Dread-Lonely-Lovecraftian Night Sweats Blues


Dear Fellow Americans,
Everything that can possibly be said
concerning the cliff the country is approaching like a crack-smoking Coyote running after the rollicking Road Runner Republic was all said so long ago it needs to be buried in the "Been Done to Death" Cemetery. Still, on the cliff high above the American desert-, the electorate is suiting up.


Where I am on the "Choice Not An Echo" before us has been clear to constant readers here years before the advent of the Trump campaign. Indeed, regardless of the "narrowing" or the polls and the "in the home stretch" chatter from the Nattering Nabobs of NeverTrump, I'm fairly sure this cake has been baked out in the rain for quite some time.


At the same time, this election-of-the-century-so-far is:

More than that, I suspect this election-of-the-century-so-far is making me -- along with many tens of millions of my fellow citizens -- sick.

Several times in the last fortnight I've woken on the dark edge of dawn with the night sweats and an elevated pulse. These are the reactions I've had in the past following nightmares, but this time I can't recall any nightmares. Just a feeling of the Lovecraftian emotion called "Nameless Dread."


To go along with the night sweats, the thudding beats of my tell tale heart (Never soothing if you've had a cardiac arrest in the last five years.), and the "Nameless Dread," is the ever-present sick to my stomach feeling which has also marked the last few weeks; a persistant nausea, or as we like to say when we're feeling all Frenchified, the Sartrean:


Put them all together and you've got Pre-Election Stress Disorder, or "PESD" (Pronounced 'Pissed' as in "Off and On.")

Like I said, I don't think my affliction is unique, but sharing this epidemic with many millions of my fellow citizens doesn't make me feel any less queasy. To be on the safe side for the next 24-26 hours I'm keeping a bucket by the bed and I'm not going to be filling it with a list.

Some people might be handling this by constructing a hyperbaric chamber which they can fill with enthusiastic bong hits until the world fogs and fades out into... "Look, a puppy!"


Others may well be attempting to fill their hot tub with vodka and cranberry juice and wait out Detonation Day.

Not me. I don't think I can deal with the hangover since, no matter which way our baked cake crumbles not everybody is going to want to take nap time. Many will be locking or loading (or reloading), and I want the ability to "keep my weather eye on the horizon, / back to the wall / because I like to see what's coming through the door,/ that's all."

In the meantime, when I go to bed tonight my prayer will be:


For now, I hope you have a good night's sleep tonight and a good day tomorrow. I'll be taking the day off. See you on the flip side....

Yours truly,

The Man with Night Sweats
by Thom Gunn

I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat
Wake to their residue,
Sweat, and a clinging sheet.

My flesh was its own shield:
Where it was gashed, it healed.

I grew as I explored
The body I could trust
Even while I adored
The risk that made robust,

A world of wonders in
Each challenge to the skin.

I cannot but be sorry
The given shield was cracked,
My mind reduced to hurry,
My flesh reduced and wrecked.

I have to change the bed,
But catch myself instead

Stopped upright where I am
Hugging my body to me
As if to shield it from
The pains that will go through me,

As if hands were enough
To hold an avalanche off.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at November 7, 2016 12:06 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I've been living this nightmare for the past year.

But then, isn't everybody - right or left.

We on the right live in fear of the loss of our nation.

Those on the left fear that they may lose their opportunity to grab that brass (gold) ring and envelope us in darkness.

Posted by: Browndog at November 7, 2016 4:26 PM


not ENVELOPE, sheesh...

Posted by: Browndog at November 7, 2016 4:34 PM

I have a test pattern ready to post and will unplug should she be installed. It has been in my mind to illuminate a Bible. I figure that will take me several years of tedious, creative work- no time to engage the daily outrage or satanic art swirling the drain. Godspeed, Gerard, you have been with me all these years, shouting into the wind..

Posted by: Leslie at November 7, 2016 4:35 PM

I've been getting a Masque of the Red Death kind of a vibe, though I often find myself thinking about the Lovecraft reboot, A Colder War.

Posted by: el baboso at November 7, 2016 5:17 PM

It was a cold and cruel reminder when the news that Janet Reno had passed hit the net this morning...Hillary will be capable of some dark and evil things, won't she?

Yes. We're holding our breath out here in the hinterland.

Best wishes to all my friends. I'll be in my hooch.

Posted by: Casey Klahn at November 7, 2016 7:25 PM

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. I'm thinking this election eve will be indelibly marked on us all in the same way we all know where we were when JFK was shot and on 9/11 (although, apparently, one candidate forgot).

In any event, we'll all just have to pull up our socks and soldier on. Be of good cheer, dear friend.

Posted by: AbigailAdams at November 7, 2016 10:49 PM

I first voted Ike for Prez in '52. I was told it was the most important election of all time, and he won in a landslide. I voted every prez election since, and every one was the most important election of all time. Hope I live long enough to see a mundane election.

Posted by: BillH at November 8, 2016 6:15 AM

Couldn't agree more. Spooky times ahead regardless of "winner."

Posted by: Uncle Mikey at November 8, 2016 6:49 AM