it started a couple of months ago. i must have glanced at the kitchen clock more than a dozen times during the day, but those four straight figures appeared and reappeared, once in the morning, and then when i was heading for bed. 11:11, glowing on the digital readout on the stove. “weird,” i thought, and gave it no mind.
but the next morning i was passing through the kitchen and there it was again, and then again that evening. not 11:09 or 11:13 but 11:11, exactly. and there it was the next day and the next; twice a day, again and again.
over the next week the clockworm progressed from weird to eerie. by day ten a saunter through the kitchen had become quite seriously spooky.
and then it went away.
on the evening of november 7th i did a final check of the official election projections: hillary 97.1, trump 2.9. the only question seemed to be how many senate seats would turn blue. i closed my ipad, heaved a sigh of relief, and slept the sleep of the just.
but on election day my games at the Y felt strange and inexplicable. i fell behind, then surged ahead on strange runs i could not control. the logic of the court broke all loose and disconnected; the ball caromed in awkward, inexplicable angles, my second wind came in hot and rancid, and a deep nausea rose up like a shiver under sweat – something awful was happening, outside, right now, and it had nothing to do with racquetball.
the television in the change room was posting early returns and at the name of trump i was overcome with a wave that started in my feet and tingled out to the tips of my fingers: everything i knew was wrong, the world was on the brink, everything i was would be stamped out, blown away.
over decades the mechanisms have been shunted into place before our eyes; plutocracy, surveillance state, propaganda arm, all three branches of craven government, and giant, raging army with no agenda but fury, bigger than anyone had imagined. nothing to stop them now.
hope and purpose are illusions, yes. and when i opened my ipad at dawn this morning i saw the numbers again – 11/10. perhaps my clockworm wasn’t an hour but instead a date – a day, a year, a figment babbling nonsense to the void. if he does half of what he promised, our lives are over. in two years, i thought, i would not recognize myself.
nothing to stop it, and one more day to go.