Another hole in my head

I wish there were a way and probably there is, to quickly and simply zap it out of my mind. Out of memory Bzzz! Perhaps one even imagines a little electrode, of some sort, focused in upon my wrinkly wrinkly brain and burning away this precise memory and not one more, so that I, like you, simply do not know.

You will walk up to me then, anytime thereafter, I can see you, and you’ll say, “Hey, Harry, who did you vote for in 2016?” and I’ll show you my trepanning scar and say, “I don’t know” and you’ll believe me!

I don’t do that, no I don’t set out on the road to trepanation yet, for the very good reason of I don’t know that it would help, in the end. The next question – the very next question – in that scenario just laid out for you, it would be something like: “But you know who you probably voted for, right? It was [Insert Name Here], right? I mean, you know…”

You might see this as a problem only imagined and not real at all. You might say, “No one really cares, Harry,” but you’d be wrong because it comes up all the fucking time. It still matters, somehow. I sit at work, for instance at work at lunch, eating with other people, as one does, you know, and news comes up, current events are mentioned, and the sideways glances begin. Gauging my reaction. Weighing. Whatever. I see them.

They don’t know what to make of me because they don’t know who I voted for. O they know I’m a middle-aged alcoholic, alright, who lives with his cat and sometimes still listens to Phil Collins and who quite nearly hanged himself back in June. They know all that and no problem, but there is one thing they do not know and they will not know and that thing is who I voted for.

No one knows. Not my mom. She thinks she knows, but no. Not my friends. Not my brother. Not you. I would, let me think, yes, I would sooner choose to have my grandma review my internet browsing history than tell anyone who I voted for for President in 2016.

And I remember that dark day, nearly two years gone now, when I made a choice though there was no right one. No right choice. Any way I went, I would have departed that phantasmagoric booth as a hypocrite or else feeling used or else complicit or else impractical or else too practical. Ahh, even ostracism later on, I could have lived with that as an okay thing if only it was on principle.

Every time I think of it, my head begins hurting and always in the same place. Here. That’s where the memory lives. It’s got to be. Obviously. I’ve got a bottle of wine and a drill, a car battery and a metal geometry compass. Maybe it’s time to forget.

If all goes right, after this, don’t ask me because I won’t know.

Comments

  1. At this point, why would it matter? Those who didn't vote point to the lack of a viable, honorable candidate. Those who voted for Hillary point to Trump as Fascism at the gate. Those who voted for Trump point to... well, their hats, or their dicks, or to the bumper sticker on their fucking trucks, because Amurca! Got Dammit! But those who weaseled out of a rational choice and voted for Stein, or for dirt, or air, or herpes? They don't deserve our concern. They're on the hook for this asshole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that pretty much sums up a good part of why I make a point of not saying. Because chances are, I either voted for someone I have loathed for 25+ years or else I didn't, in which case people I generally agree with hold me personally responsible for everything that's happening.

      (I guess in some universe, I might have voted for Trump or Johnson, so I won't say anything definitive there...)

      The thing is, unlike in, say, 2004, I have yet to hear a Democrat say, "Maybe we nominated a candidate so flawed that people chose... well, Donald Trump instead." Not once. It's the DNC line, all the way, no critical thinking.

      For all of the horrible things that trump has brought in, I feel like thanking him for doing in the Bush and Clinton political dynasties.

      Delete
  2. You know you can always decline your vote if there is no good choice...not simply 'not vote' but formally in front of people decline your vote. Then you can reply to the ominous question with the truth, 'I didn't like any of the candidates so I declined my vote. " It sounds very educated doesn't it? I mean, for a way to dodge responsibility that is. I haen't tried it yet but I have been tempted. ps...it's poor manners to ask who a person voted for. You might mention that the next time you are asked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a big believer that "None of the Above" should be a ballot option.

      There were 30 or 40 other races on the ballot that day, and I proudly voted in those. In fact, I voted for a candidate from each of the four parties on the ballot in at least one race each.

      Hopefully, the choices will be such in 2020 that I won't even feel tempted to formally announce I'm declining my vote!

      Delete
  3. As someone who did in fact get an extra brain-hole ten years ago, I strongly advise against getting one.
    If your vote was crucial to the way your state allocated its electors, then you'd have some 'splainin to do, but it just wasn't. If you lived in, say, Wisconsin, I'd be singing another tune entirely, but again, you don't. Your vote made no more difference in the 2016 election than mine did.
    Perhaps we might be well served to turn our attention to why that is true, and perhaps do something about it.
    Please don't hang yourself. You are a rare and wonderful specimen of humanity, and there are far too few of those around these days already.
    I guess that living in the East Bay there is likely far less ambiguity about political leanings, but I do know the feeling you describe.
    Buffy Wicks came to my door yesterday, which is impressive, but I'm still not gonna vote for her. I know she worked for Obama and everything, and I know that Jovanka Beckles didn't support Clinton in 2016, but this election isn't 2016, it's 2018, and Beckles supports rent control in a market that's quite frankly not within my financial reach, and that I'm about to have to enter or else leave the Bay Area.
    Driftglass always points to the time he voted for John Anderson as the major political mistake of his life, but again, even if his vote would have swung Illinois in 1980, Reagan still would have won.
    Just please don't get Ted Cruz re-elected. He barely squeaked into the senate in the first place (less than 700,000 votes in a state of 28 million) and he's really annoying.

    -Doug in Oakland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, well, Texas hasn't gone anything but Republican in any race for statewide office since 1998. MY vote didn't change the election.

      In fact, back in 2000, there was a "vote trading" scheme that Dems and Greens were doing, wherein people in, say, Ohio, would agree to vote for Gore if someone in Texas would vote for Nader. I don't anything really came of it.

      I think any jurisdiction would be better served by its representatives if it had two (at least two) legitimate parties. I've been hoping for that for Texas for a long time. I'm not sure 2018 is going to be the year, but hell, I have voted for plenty of losing candidates before.

      Delete
    2. In the same election that gave us Fergus, we legalized marijuana at the state level in California. I have friends and family who have done jail and prison time for marijuana, and right now, on Telegraph Ave. there's a giant billboard that says "Marijuana delivered for your pleasure" big green letters.
      Oh yeah, and there's a little plant growing in the back yard for my friend the DJ...

      -Doug in Oakland

      Delete
  4. In all honesty, I hated Hilary back in 2008. But for me, by 2016 the rules had changed with republican presidential candidates doing everything but goosestepping onto the stage for one of their primary debates.

    So I voted for Hillary, and yes it was an enthusiastic vote because trump was clearly describing how much of a monster he would be in office. And because no matter how much publicity the Libertarian and Green party candidates got they did not have a snowball's chance in hell.

    So yes, I went with the lesser of two evils if you want to look at it in a purely black/white viewpoint.

    But no matter how much the Susan Sarandon-types still whine, if Hillary was president now Roe v, Wade would not be on the verge of being overturned when Prep School Brett get seated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember saying, "I wish there were a way she could lose without Trump winning." I hope this changes a bit about the national Democratic Party. To some extent, it seems to be moving the needle.

      I'm going to leave it there because, amazingly, I have lost multiple blogger readers over this post. Weird...

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. That's a delightfully ambiguous line. Maybe that's what I need to say (assuming I voted for a woman in 2016). It's like a Rorschach ink blot where everyone would hear what they want to!

      Delete
  6. I always vote for none of the above option and I even say it to the booming crowds during election,canvassing me to vote for their candidate.I distrust the system as a whole.if I were an American I would have voted for green party or some niche party not sanders as morons think his washed up socialism as the great anarcho communism,I love.why did u tried for Suicide? You seem to suffer from emotional vaccum like me.in another world ,u should become a president.I like u a lot,atleast ur persona as I knew now.oh is that asterik in the blog title refers to future where u would rise and fall,symbolic of continuity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You guys have the option of None of the Above in India?

      I'll write about my June at some point. I had a rough month, especially towards the end.

      I keep telling myself that i need to NOT write about politics in this blog, but it occasionally happens and I now I remember why I don't. But you know my politics in general more than most people do. In fact, I need to check our chats because I might have even shared who i was PLANNING to vote for back in 2016.

      Delete
  7. I voted for Hilary and the only thing it's been good for is giving me some cover against those centrist #resistance assholes who think that wishing it had been Bernie instead is what led to Trump's victory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with that, from what I've seen. It's sort of amazing that the Republicans I know assume I didn't vote with them and are fine but the Democrats who realize I MIGHT not have voted with them are livid. Your situation is a different level entirely, haha.

      People are all so angry. Eh. I'm about to go on vacation.

      Delete
    2. All these people, all so angry about something of so little consequence as a single person's vote.

      Delete
  8. At least you have a president that some people voted for, however appalling he is. We have Prime Minister Theresa May, who no one voted for. And if that isn't bad enough we have Prince Charles as future King. God give me strength. Literally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know how I feel about the parliamentary system. A few years ago, when i was third party all the way, I thought it might be a way for other voices to be heard. I'm not sure the actual results are much better. Except, of course, for the fact y'all have managed to do health care.

      Delete
  9. Well, if you ever forget and want to know again, I guessing I could tell you about the vote ... unless I forget too.
    About the darkness, maybe more cats would help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The good news is that we all seem to forget pretty quickly. Collectively speaking.

      Two cats would be two too many.

      OK, Astro is pretty good, but...

      Delete
  10. These are some loaded comments. I wonder who'd come out and speak to me if I admitted I voted Trump? But I'm probably too late to the comments here.

    "I have lost multiple blogger readers over this post."
    Go figure. This is the world we live in. Glorious tribalism, every place a thunderdome, scouts on every corner.

    Still, considering the omission of the supposedly-mistake you made, I could already take a good guess at what you voted.

    Not that it matters, like others have said. It doesn't matter in a number of different ways. Besides, surely we all have things in our past to which we can say "I don't like that x happened, but it made me who I am today" and feel like that's worth something, right?

    Irrelevant to my comment, but it came to mind while writing it.
    http://www.stephenhicks.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Nozick-Tale-of-the-Slave.pdf

    Look at me, all smug, like I have any idea what I'm talking about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know of three Trump voters who stop by here, but they're pretty quiet. I don't know why, as it isn't exactly twitter or the comment section of Daily Kos (or whatever a big liberal hangout would be).

      I am hesitant to say I liked the Stephen Hicks thing because I didn't go research whether the guy disagrees with me on politics and religion and life first. But it is something I thought about. In some ways, mob rule (er, I mean democracy) can be worse than rule by one person.

      Delete
    2. Social interactions of all kinds have gotten so politicized that it's hard to publicly hold dissenting views. If you express the slightest amount of discontent with the progressive, leftist status quo, you're in for a public shaming, beating even. People just don't open their mouths anymore for fear of being attacked, or even just drawing attention to themselves. Retroactive punishment is real.

      That said, the above mostly holds for America, but since huge parts of the western internet are basically American by proxy, it has no trouble spilling over into other cultures.

      Delete
    3. I am grudgingly beginning to agree with you on the progs. I'm not sure exactly when things got away from me.

      Delete
  11. A magnificent story. I certainly know that I do not want any hole in my head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read about how they can spur specific memories with electrodes on the brain, so I was sort of up for it until I figured out they can do the same thing with magnetic pulses or something, which wouldn't require drilling.

      Of course, no one is asking to take part in such a thing anyway.

      But someday!

      Delete
  12. That terrible spot in your noggin mirrors the terrible spot in mine. I agonized over that decision, praying atheistically that someone or some twist of fate (couldn't a debate hall roof just, you know, collapse?) would reshape the inevitable final duel.

    Anyone but him or her, I said in 2015. Anyone but HIM or HER.

    But him and her became the only, and as I said inevitable, choice. "None of the above," as you said. Will we learn from this? Will we rally around credible candidates with high-caliber character?

    I think we will.

    But what the hell do I know?

    I'm an idiot.

    I voted for __________.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I am going to be eternally optimistic and pretend that next time will be better. And remind myself to focus on local races, where I can make make a bigger difference anyway.

      Delete
  13. I hate talking about politics. Always starts arguments! Even in our Canadian house! LOL! I just keep quiet. Who cares who you voted for Harry. It's your right as a person, to vote who you want to! So many people, that I follow, said, when Trump won, they lost so many "friends" on facebook, because there was so much fighting. Life will go on! There's lots more to talk about that, then just that! And, if you don't like who got in, well, change your vote next time! Take Care Harry and give your cat a hug from me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's about right. My dad and his sister don't talk anymore because of politics. Neither one of them is an activist - it's not like they're out trying to make change. They just watch different news channels, and they couldn't talk about other things when they got together, so they don't talk anymore.

      Anyway, Astro the cat is great, although he is about to be alone at my house for a few days. We'll see how that goes!

      Delete
    2. I hope Astro will be ok! Sorry about your dad and sister!

      Delete
    3. I made it back home after 5 days or whatever and Astro was fine. I am more relieved than I'm entirely comfortable admitting.

      Delete
  14. There were no good choices. There rarely are, but that was indeed a particularly bad year. I wish I'd voted for the Goodyear Blimp as a write in candidate. At least that would have had some entertainment valuem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since there are so few people in your state, even your vote alone would have guaranteed the Blimp 1% of the vote.

      I'm kidding.

      In Texas, in order for a write-in vote to be counted at all, the write-in candidate has to register as an official write-in candidate. Seriously.

      All my votes for Mickey Mouse over the years have not been counted.

      Delete
  15. Agreeing to disagree is important. Forgetting this leads to warring factions and that never goes well. Ideology has a lot to answer for. I have looked at many ballot papers and thought the most sensible thing to do here would be burn the country down and start again, but there's never a box for that.
    Are you a hugger? I'm guessing maybe not, but I'm sending a virtual one so we might be okay. Glad you made it through June.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Glad I made it through June, too. I just got back from vacation, and I'm hoping it has reset my perspective on things.

      Delete
  16. I seriously hope many people who voted for... well, not the most sensible choices, feel like this... but never forget. Or, at least, that they don't forget until after they vote again. Some mistakes should not be forgotten, or made twice...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got a few more weeks until the November election. It's about time I start thinking about it, I suppose, although there are fewer party choices on the ballot this year than 2016. I'll vote, though.

      Delete
  17. Can't decide it this is political or psychological. Everything today does seem political but I suspect that the media is just pushing us into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha. Well, I intended to write something political, but (fortunately) my political stuff ends up taking a turn before getting posted. Which I really prefer.

      Delete

Post a Comment