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December 31

December 31, 2016

In the greater scheme of things this has not been the worst year of my life. It’s not the year my mum died. It’s not the year that Mike died. It’s not even the year crazy Clancy died. There was no major personal tragedy, although losing the Echo felt like it.

When my mum’s cat Jenny (adopted by me after herdeath) died in 2002 it hit me hard, not just because I loved that cat, which I did, but because I felt as if I was losing my last tangible connection with my mum. And I know I’m feeling something similar about the Echo. Yes, I have the house, will hopefully always have the house, but that car was also something that belonged to both of us. We bought it together. The Tercel was always Mike’s car, even if I drove it as much as he did after we got together. But the Echo was the car we chose.

Every summer since his death, when I am preparing to drive down to Seattle for his memorial baseball game, part of my preparations is always to perch his Blue Jays cap on the passenger head rest. Yes, he travels to Seattle with me. Sometimes, waiting interminably to cross the border (as we’d done together so many times in the past), I actually talked to him, even after five years. Whatever car I end up with, whether or not it is another Echo, I can still perch Mike’s cap on the passenger headrest when I go to Seattle, but it will never again mean as much because it will never again be the headrest against which Mike’s head in the past actually rested. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true.

I know so many people who are saying they can’t wait to say goodbye to 2016, that it has been a bloody awful year for them and they just want to get it over with (as if the clock striking midnight on one day of the year magically wipes the slate clean). I know the tragedies these people have been through this year and I understand them saying this, but I cannot share the sentiment.

What was done in 2016 cannot be magically undone. The votes of middle Englanders that tipped the scales in favour of Brexit cannot be changed. Scotland may try – and possibly succeed – to remove itself from the no longer (never really) United Kingdom in order to stay part of the EU, but London, however much it may wish to do so, cannot similarly separate, nor I suspect can Northern Ireland. So the xenophobes won and took with them the future of young people across the country. As a Brit, the thought makes me want to weep.

As a member of the human race I want to keep 2016 going forever. The world is a terrible place at the moment – wars raging, displaced people suffering unimaginably, brutal dictatorships torturing their own citizens. I wish I had a magic wand that could put everything right, but of course I don’t. The one thing I do know with absolute certainty is that the world will become even more dangerous in three weeks when Donald Jackass Trump becomes the President of the United States.

I have a good imagination, but I honestly cannot imagine the extent of the damage this anus-mouthed narcissist may do to the world. He might not rein unchecked for four years. The Democrats may get their shit together and take back one or both houses of government in 2018. Despite having a majority in both houses, Jackass might do something so egregious that even the Republican majorities will revolt and impeach him. (I’m not holding my breath.) But even in two years the damage could be irreparable.

So I want to stop the clocks at 11:59 tonight. I want Barack Obama to stay president. Actually, I want more than that. I want all the clocks to turn back 366 days at midnight tonight so we can do 2016 over. Of course, that’s a stupid wish. There is no guarantee that doing it over would change the result.

There may be a parallel universe somewhere in which the voters are more sane, Brexit didn’t happen and a tweet-addicted twat is not about to become the commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful military machine. Unfortunately, even if such a world existed in this parallel universe, I can’t move there. I’m stuck here to bear witness to the full horrors of a Trump presidency.

With that in mind, the totalling of the Echo suddenly seems a pretty minor event.

From → Black dog diary

  1. janeshead permalink

    Fuck yes. I’ve been prevaricating posting some kind of Happy New Year message on facebook, but can’t so far bring myself to do it because I can’t in any kind of honesty see that next year’s going to be any better; all I can see is the possibility/probability of it being so much worse. Thus the Zoloft that I’m starting to get used to.

    I’m not helping, am I…

    Here’s to a personally at least Happier New Year for both of us 🙂

  2. I’ll drink (and drink) to that.

  3. Donna permalink

    I agree with that sentiment: fuck yes. Fucking fuck! It’s true 2016 was a brutal year, for all the reasons you so eloquently listed, but also for me personally as I lost my sister and other family members have had horrendous health issues.

    I can’t even talk about the black, hideous cloud that Trump has spread over the world without wanting to weep so we won’t go there…

    Still, there is friendship…and that my dear is one thing that I am very grateful for.

    Here’s to a better year ahead! xo

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