Sometime in late August or early September, typically, comes a fine, sunny day when I first notice a change in the angle of the light. It feels like the first day of autumn, but–also typically–happens a couple of weeks beforehand, at least according to the calendar. Oddly enough, this heralding doesn’t happen to me with any other season of the year. And because it’s so singular, it’s one of the mechanisms by which my brain marks the passage of time. Not January 1, April 15, Christmas or any other significant date you recognize and customarily mark on the calendar. This noticing a change in the light is something internal to my construction, somehow invoking a wistfulness, and always puts me in a mood to play Duke Ellington’s album “Indigos.”
Because, suddenly, fall will be upon us.
Soon to be gone will be the heat and light of summer. Soon to come will be the chill and gloom of winter. Except for college football, early fall is purgatorial.
Alarming to note is the rapidity at which these moments reoccur. Before my 20’s each year was a marathon. From that age to sometime in my 40’s, a year was a proper year. Now, 365 days seem like a frenzied four months. It’s like time travel–but not in a good way, because the frenzy seems routine.
They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, I’m certainly not having any fun. I say time flies faster as you age–and by that reckoning it’s already next week.
Unable to solve this enigma, I Googled it. The results were nothing short of scattershot. So I’m going to wager on this one: When you’re young and learning, literally, everything, your brain is working even in sleep to absorb it all. So it therefore seems that you’re always at or waiting for something and time stretches to the horizon. But when you’re older–more learned, perhaps, but less engaged–the routine of life is as a banana peel you slide forward into time on.
I’m willing, hypothetically, to bet the back 40. Or at least the equivalent of Devin Nunes’ “farm.” I guess that’d be the back 1.
Because I can reconcile this model with how time has passed thus far during the deep blue tedium of the Trump Administration.
The president has been in office for 33 months. It seems like 33 years. Each day anoints a fresh scandal, unsavory tweet, unnecessary controversy, outright disprovable lie, potential criminal activity, overreach and a firing or replacement of key personnel. Of the dramatis personae, I can’t keep count anymore of who’s acting and who’s actually been appointed. Or confirmed, if that’s what’s required. I’ve been trying, even in my sleep, to absorb it all.
Also, the next presidential election is 14 months from now. That seems 14 years away.
This is how time must have passed during the Nixon Administration after 1972. At least the Republicans of that era were willing to allow the scales to fall from their eyes by urging resignation before impeachment.
Those of our own era are positively squamous. And to think that, among them, there once flourished an “Anyone But Trump” sentiment so recently as just prior to their last convention. They’re not protecting Tony Soprano here–those characters were Tony’s minions, and raised together with him in the same violent culture. No. These Republican characters are protecting Mussolini, and have been co-opted by him in the name of tax breaks, regulatory relief and near-fascist Supreme Court seat confirmations. And thus far, at least, they leap to excuse or deny anything the president does that the rest of us find unsavory.
This, too, is a learning curve in, literally, everything. Who ever conceived of the idea that a president could behave so badly and get away with it ALL? Clearly, he’s being enabled. By elected Republicans. Fine citizens, to a none.
It’s not about disliking this president. I have disliked other presidents–distrusted and disagreed with them–but never has another president proved to be so lacking in gravitas. It’s exhausting. I feel as if we’re all under siege before his self-interest–and memorable sieges are not recalled for their brevity.
He’s overstayed his welcome.
My concern is the long-term damage he may be creating, like denying climate change. There is some urgency regarding that–and, surely, there must be some Republicans who recognize it. How can they hold their grandchildren close and still defer to this man? And what about changing our centuries-old precedents? Your guess is as good as mine.
Maybe a man like Tony Soprano actually could become our president. Some similar day, when the priorities of party override those of country. When greed gallops free careless of morality, of duty and of the done thing. Think Vladimir Putin.
Remember when Russia, in whatever guise it operated under, was our enemy? “Well…” as Ronald Reagan would have lead, it still is. Why is our own president embracing tyranny worldwide while refusing to mount a defense against it? Why hasn’t he lifted a finger to safeguard our elections? Again, your guess is as good as mine.
I’ve written about this twice before. At bottom, it’s about money laundering. But those maneuvers are just the nuts and bolts. Clearly, this narcissist cannot extricate himself from himself to strive, in his capacity as president, for our common welfare.
So this time next year, as my most fervent hope, I expect with a new slant of sunlight–the heralding of fall–will come the fall of Donald Trump.
“You ain’t been blue; no, no, no…”