5 Am November 4th.

by Dan

I’m a bum, riding the rods in thirties America, denim work clothes, my face sun-burnt and my hat drawn down over it as I watch the prairie stretch behind me down the long straight track. Kansas City, Des Moines, Toledo. Anywhere there’s work I’ll go! Got a girl in Dade County, Florida, and one in Maine. There’s a faint breeze and a smell of sawbrush and one of the guys, Judd, is pickin a blues out on his beaten-up guitar.

What is saw brush? Did you make that up? No I think it’s a thing. Dade County? That’s bought you right back to the fucking election, it’s one of the real toss up counties in Florida!

That’s torn it, jogged me back to the present and my endless worry.

I need to take my mind from it, get to sleep.

What about Storyclub?

Inverted carriage? That’s a puzzle.

I looked it up on google couldn’t find anything that made sense, I don’t really like it when I can’t understand the words. Perhaps it’s a carriage that has the Victorian ladies and moustachioed gents on the roof instead and a large brown trunk containing velvet dresses inside. Horses inside too?

I felt a little let down by that carriage story in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, didn’t work nearly as well for me as the Tom Waits one or the one where the guy with no arms and legs gets thrown in the ravine by that Irish actor. Whatshisname?

But now I’m back in America, ruminating on whether the myth of the west, that vast open-skied dream was always inevitably going to produce someone like Trump. In endless space you can commit genocide and wipe out millions of buffalo and not feel guilty because the paradise you’ve found is without judgement and God made up by you and therefore, on your side.

Think of something closer to home.

My mind has wandered onto my dead sister, the one I can barely remember, she was only a little girl but in a way she changed things for my whole family.

But she has been dead so long now. Since May 1971. I know this because we heard the news during the cup final.

What would she have been like if she had lived I wonder.

I’m getting on you know and this pointless year has taken another year out of my life, I’m no closer to making sense of it than I ever was.

A slight light has emerged around the blinds. It is probably half past decent time to roll out of bed. To go downstairs, turn on the telly and see what has happened.

Steel yourself, you know how disappointing elections always are. And that bastard will come through on the same surge of madness that bought Brexit. Steel yourself and turn the television on.