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Flash Fiction from Taylor Napolsky

September 27, 2019

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Poet's Corner: 2016 Election Poem by Blake Middleton

May 21, 2017

 

 

i remember watching a youtube video of donald trump announcing his run for the presidency on my iphone

i was sitting in my car on my lunch break

obviously donald trump was a fucking idiot

i didn’t think much more about it

 

a couple months later donald trump came to jacksonville for a campaign rally

i was food-running at a restaurant on the st. johns river

and donald trump was across the river, speaking at a run-down strip-mall

the strip-mall had a hooters, a honky tonk bar, the worst tattoo parlor in jacksonville

and a statue of andrew jackson in the parking lot

 

i ran some food to a table outside

i could hear donald trump yelling about stupid bullshit

it seemed surreal

and really stupid

 

after the rally about one hundred trump supporters took the water-taxi to the restaurant

 

most of them were obese white men

the obese white men ordered chicken fingers and cheeseburgers

they wanted to dip their french fries in ranch

i ran out so many sides of ranch

to so many obese white men

 

i didn’t want to give them food because i didn’t want to be responsible for sustaining their lives

but i needed money for rent, food, gasoline, car insurance, alcohol, marijuana

i thought about quitting

i thought about trying to get a job at a bookstore

because feeding chicken fingers to trump supporters didn’t seem like something i wanted to be doing with my life

but i was making minimum wage plus tips

which usually averaged out to thirteen bucks an hour

so i kept my job

 

after work i drove to my apartment

my girlfriend of four years that i lived with was lying in bed

i told her about the trump supporters

she said, trump supporters are fucking stupid

i said, i can’t wait until the primaries are over and i never have to think about donald trump again

we watched a low-quality video of chungking express on youtube

and fell asleep

 

a month later i got evicted from my apartment

because my other roommate told a ten-person folk-punk band that was touring through florida that they could sleep on our floor

instead of sleeping they stayed up all night playing banjo and snorting cocaine

we had been getting a lot of noise complaints

and this one was the last

 

my girlfriend moved back in with her parents

and broke up with me

i felt like that relationship had been ending for a long time

 

i was really depressed for a couple days

then i was just normal depressed again

 

my friend jake said he had a spare bedroom because one of his roommates was moving out

he told me to come to a watch party for the republican debates after i got off work

he said he would show me the bedroom after the party

 

after work i went to the party

donald trump was on the TV saying stupid bullshit

he was on a stage with ten other assholes that were also saying stupid bullshit

rand paul talked aggressively about net neutrality 

ted cruz said something stupid about syria

donald trump bragged about his penis

it was fucking stupid

and kind of funny

 

later that night jake introduced me to his roommate daniel and daniels’s girlfriend jenna

daniel ordered a pizza

i ate pizza and drank beer and listened to daniel and jenna argue about gun control

 

a little later the host of the party took a few slices of pizza without asking daniel

and daniel punched him in the face

we had to leave the party

 

we drove a mile to jake’s place

the house was across the railroad tracks in a shittier part of downtown called murray hill

the house was a block from a family dollar, subway, metro pcs, coin laundry, liquor store

daniel showed me the room

it was a little bigger than a closet

i was just happy to have somewhere to live for cheap

i watched eastbound and down with daniel and we talked for a while

besides punching the host of the party in the face over pizza daniel seemed like an okay guy

 

a few months passed

i was spending a lot of time alone, reading in my room, going on jogs, working on writing

i lost like 50 pounds

didn’t feel depressed anymore

felt like i valued my life a lot

felt like a new person

 

one night when i was trying to fuck off and read in my room

daniel told me that jenna broke up with him

and pretty much begged me to get drunk with him

i said okay

and we both got extremely drunk

daniel said he was a trump supporter and jenna didn’t like that he was a trump supporter

he had a trump sticker on his car

but i kind of thought it was a joke

daniel broke a bottle of whiskey on the kitchen floor

and puked all over the futon in the dining room

i cleaned up daniel’s vomit

 

a couple weeks later

daniel went to indiana to volunteer at a sculpture park

he was going to be gone for two months

from may 15 to august 15

 

i started hanging out with his ex-girlfriend jenna

we went to the bar and took tequilas shots

we went to the beach and ate mushrooms

we even planned a trip to new york

 

i don’t like being around people very much

i can be around people but usually after a couple consecutive days of being around people

even if those people are my best friends

i just want to hide in my room and read

but i was hanging out with jenna every night

i had never wanted to be around another person for weeks at a time before

we were best friends

we both liked to shit-talk the world and thought that most people were dumb assholes

we both didn’t fuck with ~90% of people, places, or things

also we were both generally happy people

 

one day jenna was dog-sitting for some rich people that lived in a nice part of town called avondale

she invited me over and we got drunk and swam naked in their pool

then went upstairs and kissed in bed

 

the next morning i told jenna that i liked her as more than a friend

some other stuff happened

we started casually dating

 

on august 15

i forgot that daniel was coming home on august 15

around 2 a.m. i walked out of my bedroom in my underwear

right after me and jenna had just finished having sex

the front door opened

and there was daniel

i thought he was going to kill me

i went into the bathroom

locked the door

took a thirty minute shower

because i thought that as soon as i left the bathroom

daniel was going to kill me

 

but he didn’t kill me

some other stuff happened

shit was really weird for about a week

me and jenna slept at her dad’s house

so that we wouldn’t have to worry about daniel killing us in our sleep

 

then me and jacob kicked daniel out of the house

he still didn’t kill me

 

sartre says that you have to risk your life sometimes to find out what it’s worth

daniel owned like three guns

i was ready to die

i liked jenna so much that i was willing to risk getting murdered by my roommate to be with her

but he didn’t kill me

everything was cool

i was loving life

 

on election day i went to a coffee shop with jenna

at this point we were living together

 

i said, i can’t wait until i never have to think about donald trump again

he won the primary when he wasn’t suppose to win the primary, according to the new york times

but there was no fucking way he was going to win the general election, according to the new york times

so november 8 would be the last day i would have to think about donald trump

hillary would be elected president

everything would stay basically the same for another four years

and maybe even get a little better

because we were gonna have a liberal supreme court nominee

and bernie sanders and elizabeth warren were going to pressure hillary into doing good shit

 

around 9 p.m. we went to a bar called wallstreet

wallstreet is the best worst bar in jacksonville

it’s one of the oldest liquor licenses in the city

you can smoke inside

they have two dollar pbr, busch, and genesee cream

and everyone there is drinking to get drunk

people were drinking beer and staring at TV’s

the results for florida were coming in

everyone in the bar looked nervous

the newscasters looked nervous

donald trump won florida

florida was a toss-up state, according to the new york times

i said, this shit is getting real. i want to drink pbr in the comfort of my own home

we left the bar

 

at the house we turned on the TV

trump kept winning states

he was winning states he wasn’t suppose to win, according to the new york times

i paced around the living room

i looked at jenna and said, i wanna break something

jenna smiled like she also wanted to break something

i went into my room

i dragged my desk out of the room and into the backyard

i grabbed a hammer

and beat the shit out of my desk

jenna grabbed the hammer

and beat the shit out of my desk

i yelled, fuck trump

jenna yelled, fuck trump

 

we went back inside and looked at the TV

on the TV there were obese white men wearing red hats

they didn’t look nervous

they looked happy

i wanted them to die

i wanted to shoot ranch smothered chicken fingers from a gun at their face

i said, i want these frat-boy-looking-ass-motherfuckers to die

 

i stopped drinking beer

because i don’t drink beer when i’m depressed

jenna said, let’s go to bed

 

she fell asleep but i couldn’t sleep

i knew donald trump was going to win but i wanted to stay up anyway

 

jenna woke up around 3 a.m.

i was scrolling through my iphone

she rolled over and looked at me

she said, is donald trump our president, baby?

 

it echoed in my head

 

is donald trump our president, baby?

is donald trump our president, baby?

is donald trump our president, baby?

 

and god dammit

telling someone that you’re falling in love with that donald trump is the new president doesn’t feel fucking good

 

a couple days later i went on a jog

i hadn’t accepted that donald trump was going to be president

i listened to depressing music

i felt emotional

i was running fast

it wasn’t a joke anymore

it was real

 

i kept repeating quotes from philosophers that i’ve read

i started reading philosophy after my break up

it was one of things that helped me value my life again

 

i thought

conquer yourself rather than world

man is nothing else but what he makes of himself

to live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering

 

and felt a little better

 

it’s may 1, 2017 now

donald trump has been president for about a hundred days

yesterday i went to cvs with jenna

the cover of the national enquirer said ‘WORLD WAR THREE IS COMING!’

in reference to this north korea bullshit

potentially things could get very bad

nuclear weapons exist

and the people that control them are fucking idiots

and it sucks

because i’m happy now

and in love

and i’m 23

and i don’t want the world to end yet

 

Blake Middleton lives in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a story in fluland. He edits the online lit journal Uncle Ken Presents and tweets @blaketheidiot 

 

 

 

 

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