I have taken a few days now to think long and hard about the year we just experienced, and to a lesser extent the decade we just endured. This last 10 years have been my formidable years; I started 2000 off at 15, now 25, and so I can really look back on these years clearly with horror and disgust in our actions as a nation and as a people. I hate to look back as far as the year 2000, I can barely stomach 2009 leading me to believe that trying to choke down ten years would be the death of me; a frantic malaise would fall upon me pock marked by bouts of crushing depression ending in ripping my hair out in clumps and eating it until I died in a puddle of my own bodily fluids in the fetal position.
The last decade saw the rise of the wartime president with no regard for anything but the nation’s collective bloodlust and vengeance, damning the UN and leading us in to an intractable war. We saw two different men win back to back elections with only one taking office both times. We saw a collapse of a nation, ours, in our banking industry, housing market, stock market, as well as the likes of Enron, Worldcom, and other disgusting malpractices of the rule of law and the code of trust. There have been more scandals then I can shake a big stick at with alter boys being molested by priests and pages being propositioned by politicians. This has been a decade of degradation, filth, and violence on a scale not seen before with the truly controversial rise of newsertainment and 24 hours coverage running rampant on too many networks.
I Hate to reminisce or wax nostalgic about the past, but I can’t help but look back on 2009 and wonder what happened? It feels like, as I look forward to this next year, I am looking back on 2009 as a rampaging night of excessive drugs and alcohol; 2009 was an abuse of every narcotic we could get our hands on, leaving me with more question the morning after. Here I am, tangled in sweaty sheets in some stranger’s home, room spinning, and naked feeling a veracious burning sensation in my nether regions that wasn’t there yesterday. As I come to I notice a fresh tattoo, haphazardly done and still bleeding where there was once simply freckled skin. Empty beer bottles and half empty liquor bottles are strewn around the room as I stumble about, a blaring high pitched whine hindering my every thought deep inside my head.
January is our morning after. This is our time to find our pants and get out before she wakes up, and try to piece together what happened last night. Upon further inspection we have a lot of missed calls, missed ‘dare to be great’ situations we passed on as a nation, had we been sober enough to stop and answer. Reaching in to our pockets we stare through dark sunglasses in the early morning light to see our turned-out pockets, empty, not a cent in them, we’re broke, no chance for a cab now. Wandering down the street we try to get our bearings, find a street we know, some semblance of location and orientation to our home. Making at a haphazardly stumbling pace we try to see the flashes of last night, putting them in to some kind of order to gleam a storyline from.
What was it that we did? We feel like shit, so it had to be bad. I know we met up with Barack at some point, got drunk on hope and possibilities, then he fucking baled on us talking about having to work across the aisle and just left us with our dick in our hands…maybe he knows what he’s doing though, might even come through on some of those plans, just not bingeing on hope with him again any time soon. I know we put a bet on Chicago for the olympics, but lost $50 on Rio in that game. What started it all? That’s right, lost my job yesterday and my insurance got cancelled on me because of the test results, no wonder I called Barack. Dropped by the Tea Party for a while, but those guys were fucking off the wall, could not hang with them so I busted over to FOX News after-party, but that was out of control too. Plus I can’t in good conscience listen to a room full of people trash talk my buddy, so I had to tune them out and get going.
Met up with Sanford, despite him leaving me hanging a while back for some hiking, his chick was nice though, wait were we in her bed? No, couldn’t be. Sanford totally holding on to that chick and his job, never would have let us near her. I was drinking away the pain of losing the house too, so I know I had some shots after hearing the news of the bailouts. Ha, those fuckers fucked me, and got paid to do it, now I feel like another drink. It was Mike’s going away party too, what a New Year’s, dude is shipping off to Afghanistan after three tours in Iraq, rough road to walk there. At least we sent him off in style.
My fucking head is killing me, must have been mixing punditry and journalism for that punch Wes calls “newsertainment”. That shit is lethal. Walking down the street I don’t know which way is up; we’re all confused and can’t get our facts straight, haha, never getting in to that shit again. We gotta sit down a second. Wow, what a night. Too much bullshit and booze, the fucking bottom fell out last night. This is rock bottom. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves, bingeing on hope and news punch only to just feel like shit after it’s all over, doing it again years later once we forget about the hangover? So much bullshitting and empty promises man, no reason to do it, yet we keep falling for the peer pressure every time. Gotta get our shit together man, just learn to say when enough is enough. And who was that chick sleeping next to me? Some brunette, that chick was crazy, and dumb as hell. Wasn’t she from Alaska, just passing through but just would not go away…what was her name.
We breathe deeply and lean our head against the wall rail on the stoop we sit at. Just need to rest a moment ad collect ourselves as the shining sun, God’s spotlight, punishes us for giving most of our day to last night’s affairs. A glaring reminder that in the night you were evil, a sinner falling for the devil’s tricks, but in the day’s light you are very clearly able to see the error of your ways. We hate that sun now, wish we could have stayed in bed with the Alaska chick, would have been easy, but we decided to know better and not linger on that idea. Pretty, different, but no type to be getting in bed with for more than a fling, don’t want to commit for four or especially eight years. Barack was cool last night, but what a drag, such a talker and he never backs it up. Told me he could get me in to that club downtown, “healthcare”, fucking wash out. Told me he had a scheme to get me out of hock, but that didn’t go well. Just a fucking big talker, so much for a fun night, now we feel like shit.
This is our hangover we are dealing with. 2009 brought much disappointment, not really in actual events, but in the idea that Barack sold us in 2008. This last year, now gone and past, the final chapter in the decade of “oughts and shouldas”, stands as a tough year for this nation and those the live in it. We had such hopes after 8 terrible years, that we could have a great hoorah in 2009 and get back on track, but all I feel is a hand job without the release. No happy ending to this year. Instead I look back on 2009 as a lost opportunity, a series of epic fails that snowballed in to the worst hangover this country can feel. There is little to unite us, much more to divide us, and we sail blindly, after a series of scary attacks, increased war efforts, and fear mongering on an accelerated scale, knowing full well that there is no telling how badly we can squander the chance 2010 gives us for true redemption. Sitting on this stoop in God knows where suffering from binge drinking of hope and here-say, all we can ask is whether 2010 will serve as the alka-seltzer to our troubling woes, or just hair of the dog?