“Good Morning America. It is with a mixture of sadness and pride that I deliver this morning’s State of the Union address. As you all know, we are at war in the Middle East. The enemy is gaining strength every day. Not a minute goes by that I don’t give a sigh of grief over our fallen brethren. Those of you that have been keeping tabs on your nation in foreign publications such as BBC news and The Economist are well aware that things aren’t going so well for lady liberty. We simply haven’t the heart to inform you via Fox News, or NBC the extent to which our failure and losses are truly apparent.”
(The camera pans outward, revealing two masked men on either side of Barack Obama, holding AK-47s)
“Call it misinformation, call it deception, either way, I assure you it wasn’t out of malice. It was in your best interest. I have gained nothing in the way of capital gains in this yearlong endeavor to conceal the truth from the American people. Frankly, I saw no alternative. To inform my proud citizens that the most powerful country in the world was somehow under siege by guerilla attackers and that we were in constant danger, would not only incite fear in your breast and create widespread panic, but would also instill a nationwide sense of hopelessness completely uncharacteristic of the American psyche. I apologize if I’ve failed you as a president. All I ever wanted was for each and every one of you to realize your dreams- the American dream. I now hand the country over to Mazaar Al-Zarqawi and Mabudeen Sheekzaki. FUCK AL QUAEDA! LONG LIVE AMERICA!”
(President Barack Obama is then shot in the head. His white shirt is now smattered with blood, and he slumps back in his chair in the Oval office, mouth ajar with a trickle of blood slowly meandering toward his chin).
I sat in Mooney’s, mouth agape completely, as did the rest of my friends as we watched the traumatic end to President Obama’s first State of the Union address.
“Shit… How the fuck did they get in the White House?” I said
“No fucking idea.” said my friend Konrad
So much silence I never would have thought this was the way that people reacted to these sorts of things I never actually imagined (John Lennon) this type of thing could happen in America. I’m not really that shaken up about the Obama thing, but what does this mean you know? Where do we go next?
“What do we do?” I asked
No answer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people legitimately speechless this is definitely the first time I must say.
(the screen went blank, but not before the masked AK-47 men walked toward the camera and shut it off, fumbling around with the switches for a minute).
Stupid terrorists, well I shouldn’t say that I’d probably fumble with it also, I’m not exactly a technology whiz but everyone always thinks they will be when put in that position I take it back they’re not stupid terrorists, they got in to the White House for chrissakes.
“So….” I say in an attempt to break the silence “Should we go somewhere? See what other people are doing maybe? Gauge what the national reaction to this is?”
No response again. Are people really this shook up? I know they heard my words I’m sure they’re just over reacting for the sake of looking human I mean at least show some panic and curiosity.
“All right, well I’m going to head outside and check out what’s going on guys. Give me a call if you wanna catch up. Sound cool Konrad? Joe? I know you probably won’t say anything back but I trust you will call me if you want to meet up later- unspoken agreement. Well, now it’s spoken so I guess it’s just an agreement... Sort of.” I headed out the door.
We usually meet at Mooney’s and have lunch together on Mondays. I hate the fact that there’s a TV in there, but I agreed to watch today because it was the State of the Union address- Oh shit no more of those! They usually watch stupid ESPN and I try to get a word in during commercials, otherwise it’s just blank expressions consuming dozens of chicken wings.
On the street, everyone seems to have heard the news already, like during September 11th, everyone already knew and didn’t have to rush in and say “oh my god did you hear?” As if it was a piece of gossip, sullen faces asked and answered the question without verbal communication and stuff. Where should I go? Hmm I don’t really know what to do right now. Will we all go to work tomorrow? Will I go back this afternoon? Do I have to? I guess I’ll see for myself and head to the office I have my bike so I can get there quickly.
Riding feels weird why is everyone giving me a look like I’m doing something wrong?
“Hey Janice” I said as I strolled into the office
“Michael.” She said
“Our nation’s under attack” she said, crinkled brow and hopeless expression.
“Well, yea. I mean, are we going to be working the rest of the afternoon, or…” I said, both hands out in front of me
“Michael. Our nation is under attack.” She said again, as if it clears up everything.
Why is she making it seem like an obvious answer? The president’s in Washington D.C, we are in New York City. It’s so far away and there are so many of us, first of all how the hell did they infiltrate our country, but second of all how are they going to deal with the rest of us?
“I can’t deal with this right now” Janice said to my blank expression. She stormed off, immensely stressed
I guess I have the day off. Probably more than a day. I’m hungry I didn’t actually eat anything at Mooney’s, I just got there when I heard the news I think I’ll go to Pasquale’s deli. Oh god 12 inch Turkey and provolone sub sauce and a coke oh my god.
“12 inch turkey, provolone cheese and sub sauce. On sesame bread. And a coke please.” I said
“Yea, sure” said the guy behind the counter.
Why is he eyeing me funny? I have to eat! Does everyone stop eating when a crisis happens? Where in our DNA is it hardwired that when the president is killed brutally murdered in his office after giving the state of the union address telling all of us that our country is doomed do we all stop eating and doing everything? I want to yell this to all of you that are eyeing me and telling me telekinetically that I need to stop where I am and panic and talk and ask what are we going to do? What are we going to do?
“Here you go sir. It’s on the house.” Said the Pasquale man
“Nonsense, how much?” I demand
“Really, it’s on the house.” Said the man, all sad now
“If you insist. Thank you much and I hope that we can all make it through this tragic event” I said, and based on his look I appear to have redeemed myself because he nodded gravely and respectfully.
As I take a bite in to the sub, there’s bliss I forgot for a second how amazing it was oh my god. I take a seat on the curb, the perfect seat I think to witness the end of the world because lots of people were doing the same. People were crying and saying “OBAMA! OBAMA! WHY?” I didn’t even know the guy and his policies and things didn’t even affect me just yet it’s a shame I guess. No president, I think has ever affected me I can’t tell the difference between a good one and a bad one but I guess I’m too young to have a valid opinion. I wonder if Great Britain’s gonna help us. Everyone should get together and help us we did so much for all of Europe- think of the Marshall plan jesus we bailed all of them out when they were in ruins after World War 2. We’re not even in ruins I wonder if there was a lot of gunfire I’m really curious how this happened. Is there still news coverage?
I walked over to a sports bar across the street that had a TV in it.
“Is there any news coverage?” I ask inside
“No. It all went out after the State of the Union address.” Said the barman
Jesus we don’t even know what’s going on this is so weird I wonder what the cops are doing should they all drive to Washington D.C and find out what’s up?
“What are all the cops doing?” I asked
“I have no idea, sir. No idea whatsoever. It’s a sad day for America.” He said, looking down.
“Sad day indeed” I said as I turned toward the door and took another bite out of my sub jesus Christ I wish this sub would last forever it’s so goddamn motherfucking good ahhhhh
Well I guess there’s nothing to do. What if I broke my leg right now, are ambulances still running? Hospitals open? I wouldn’t be surprised if all the sick people just stood there with doctors and asked what was going to happen next and forget that they’re sick.
I’m going to go swimming. In the Hudson River. I saw an episode of Seinfeld once in which Kramer swam in the Hudson but he got really smelly for a while and stank up Elaine’s mattress. I think I’ll do it too I don’t want to be like all the rest of these people, jesus all the cabs have stopped and everyone’s out in the street just standing around looking sad. Yea, I’ll go swimming.
A bike is actually a really, really great idea in these situations. All the traffic’s stopped but I can still get through. Jesus, if all I had was a car, forget it I wouldn’t get anywhere I would just have to stand around or walk wherever I wanted to go but that would take so damn long.
The Hudson. The Mighty Hudson. The Hudson river. Torrents, torrents, currents, strong, good idea? Why not, there are no bad Ideas now I guess. I jump it’s cold already but of course I’ll get over it we can adapt to anything, but maybe that’s not true actually.
“Yea?” I say whilst treading water and see it’s a man yelling from the pier I just jumped off of.
“Are you committing suicide?”
“No, why?” I ask
“Cause you’re swimming in the Hudson. Nobody swims in the Hudson!” He yells, one arm stretched out
“Oh, well Kramer did it on Seinfeld. What else should I be doing?”
“Touché.” He said, and walked away.
I swam, I took big strokes, long strokes. Should I ask myself Where am I going? I guess I just did but I’d rather not preoccupy myself with that. Just swim for now. When I was in High school I was much better, that was a few years ago. I bet I would come in last place in a national high school race with all high schools kids of all skill levels no I’m being harsh I’m sure I would do just fine. There are lots of kids on teams that join because their parents make them and have no interest in the sport and no incentive to do well or even try.
How the fuck did guerilla warriors take over the White House and the American Army? We’re so powerful, like the most powerful army on the face of the earth. I bet it’s sort of simple. Like a Trojan horse sort of thing. That’s the way to bring down a giant. Or like run lines in between trees and make some sort of invisible trip wire for them to tumble over because they were stomping too much to look down and see what’s in their way. Either way I bet it’s brilliant. Simplicity is key because the U.S army, I’m sure has been planning for attacks that are so complex and inconceivable and specific that they would look over the easy to find answers. Like school kids who are dumbfounded when asked their opinion but don’t hesitate to memorize a textbook.
What was that? Damn tired. What do next? Swim back like give up? NO, NO, NO. All is back there so swim back. Swim back then, slow, slow strides. See smoke, hear loud noises war, sure. Thought would be standing forever. Now people run, good make them do something jesus stand there like sheep. Swim back finally, long swim it’s good to be out good workout haven’t done so much in a long, long while. Climb up difficult, was not expected. I get above and on shore and what do I see?
How did this happen?
I look to my left and see:
And my right as well:
I see some people but some are less than people. I hear them:
And they zig zag. Beheaded chicken, hah! That’s the sort of chaos it is perfectly describing the situation. I see orange. Like Pac Man hah! If it slowed down it could eat for a while and actually enjoy it, but noooo someone’s greedy! So I sat and watched it, like always. What a twisted imagination our creator has. He has the power to do anything with space. Anything, yet he chose this? This display of fireworks just for me to see? Out of all the unimaginable possibilities, he does this just for me? I love it. What a generous, generous person he is. I hear him. He’s up there. He’s making lots of noise and pounding and pounding. He’s probably smiling widely thinking of no one but me I’m special. His own world, I wonder what’s happening there.
Meanwhile, I walk through the /.,/.,’;, and see someone. It’s a woman. She’s laying and it’s so amazing that so many buildings fell while I was gone. How do you explain this, creator? You’re lucky I was out to sea and didn’t see what happened. Otherwise I would say, this? This is the weapon you bring against humanity? Yea right, that can’t cause this much destruction, there’s something wrong with your logic! But no, no, no I was gone and it all happened and I am only left to imagine what it was, like a Trojan horse.
So, woman is crying. What am I supposed to do, save her, creator? Is that why I stumbled across her? It was supposed to incite some feeling in me, otherwise I would have not come across anyone.
“How are you, miss?” I asked, crouching above her.
“Can you speak?” I asked
What the fuck do I do? I’m pretty sure she’s dying. Will this be on my conscious if I just go? Yea I bet it will. Damn. I asked the question, it was planted in me like the emotion. Damn you creator. DAMN YOU CREATOR I WANTED TO ROAM FREELY BUT YOU MADE ME DO THIS! Not a good creator after all. Not a good one, not in it for the happiness of his creations. What is he in it for? To torture me? You want to torture me don’t you??? Don’t you???
On knees now, I never pray. Why am I praying, so uncharacteristic of me (American psyche) I can’t help it!!! Everything is not my idea. You instilled all of these ideas in me!! Hudson river, big turkey sub, nothing was mine, was it!?! Was it?? The bicycle? Can I have credit for anything? This gigantic circle it’s so confusing please please please.
Yes, it’s coming nearer. Thank you! Thank you!
Yes! This is great creator, this is great!!!
Tears of joy in torrents (Hudson River), torrents they pour down, down, down thank you so much thank you thank you yes I said yes I said thank you yes!
And the wise and great thing ascends upon me I finally see it I see it thank you you’re not so bad after all, thank you. No torture, no torture.