Shadow Elections

I am no politico, but I was not particularly surprised by the results of Tuesday night’s election – and no, not because I follow Nate Silver’s polling, nor because of shifting demographics, nor because of the bailout or Obamacare. Rather, I felt the election was decided on the difference between voting for rather than against. It was my impression that those who cast a ballot for Romney were really casting a vote against Obama, in much the way most Democrats had once voted against Bush instead of for Kerry. I understand a vote is counted exactly the same regardless of the motivation behind its casting, but in an election as tidal a Presidential contest, such subtleties of mojo can make all the difference, and, I believe, in this case it did.

And all for the better I say, partisanship aside. Life should always be lived toward one thing, and not away from another. I have written books away from failure, dated women away from loneliness, taken drugs away from boredom, and always I was led somewhere that only needed more getting away from. These were the types of choices that – in a day, or a month, or a year – left me asking myself, “How the hell did I get here?”

At such moments life seems random and unfair, and every place looks just as lousy as the last. In my writer’s heart, I feel as if the world is one giant rejection letter. And so it is, for I have built my life from the shadows of what I didn’t want, and in so doing rejected the only one who knew what it is I wanted.

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