So tonight marks a likely soul-quashing addition to the growing litany of indignities and infamies we face on a daily fucking basis, in the form of the final presidential debate, and penultimate loss that will end the Cubs season.
I grew up in Massachusetts in the 70s. So I was a fatalistic young Red Sox fan, well before they were able to assemble winning enough squads to take it all. Much of my capacity to hope was beaten out of me by 1978, when they blew a fourteen fucking game lead against the cocksucking Yankees and then watched as Bucky sonofabitching Dent drove the nail into their season's coffin. There was a brief, too brief, period there between game 6 of the '75 World Series and that punkbitchass home run by Bucky shitwagon Dent in '78 when a world of unseen possiblity lay just over the horizon, there for the taking if you were true of heart.
There is comfort to be had - albeit comfort of a dim and cold sort - in knowing that the shit storm currently pelting you will not relent. Your capacity to feel betrayed is extinquished; the fervor of your belief snuffed out. You know that superstition is folly, that there are no curses - be they of the Bambino or Billy Goat varieties. You come to know that you live in a barbaric and indifferent hellscape where meaning is a delusion, where your worst fears are routinely confirmed, and which further data reveals that is little better than a shit centrifuge where your idiotic little dreams get spun into a fecal slurry along with everybody else's. It is a foul-smelling reality, to be sure, and an unjust one - but you are by God seeing it with clear eyes.
It's not just that Santa doesn't exist, it's that he stole your mom's identity, emptied her accounts, and blew it all at the dog track. Then tore his stack of losing betting slips into confetti he scattered over the greasy turd he squeezed off into a padded envelope and mailed to her.
So the mercy of having the final debate is that we will each of us - wherever we might fall on the political spectrum - spared the lies and provocations of a semi-sentient cannister of Tang. At least until tomorrow. When he's bitching about what a socialist stooge the dude from Fox fucking News is.
Sometimes your dog will get a piece of their poo caught in their fur, waggling out of their asshole like a partially descended testicle. As the human, already tasked with fetching and bagging their shit, you rightly shake your head at your dog and go "Sorry, friend - I know I've got a thumb and everything, but you're on your own." And the dog will furrow its brow in reproach, hike his rear feet skyward so his butthole abrades the ground, and haul himself forward with his front feet. He will sometimes leave a streak on the sidewalk that seems to you indelible. But the rains will wash it away. Or the rats will come to claim it.
That. That is your silver lining. Rats fighting in the moonlight over the prize of a stripe of dog shit.
We have permitted ourselves to become these rats. But when you are a rat that has had the hope beaten out of it, you shake your head at the rats biting and raking at each other, and amble over to the rancid bounty of the Dumpster.
So it is with the Cubs tonight. Since despite admirable pitching, the heart of their fucking order has resolved keep their fucking bats on their fucking shoulders, we the bleak-hearted know that all the frenzy expended by fans all over the country, all the gnashing of teeth and murmured pacts with Satan, will lead nowhere. The flashy whore that is Los Angeles will continue to prosper, just as the flashy whore in the power tie will continue to flourish.
The nectar of defeat is a bitter goddamn potion, to be sure. But if you take sips along the agonizing trail, you won't have guzzle the whole decanter at the end. Likewise, where your countrymen have elevated an undeserving, persecuted, hectoring, petty slab of shouting to potentially occupy the highest office in the land, you squinch up your fucking face and take little hummingbird sips of the poison sloshing in your cracked chalice. If you're lucky, maybe you'll build up a tolerance. And it will kill you more slowly than most.