One Thing Leads to Another, Always

16 years ago, I was a month off from finishing a 9-month sentence for a various series of felonies including sales of narcotics and fraud, most notably, forging my own death certificate. This was the culmination of an inch-by-inch progression over the course of over a decade that would never have occurred except in the context of an AIDS crisis which upended all of my bearings and infused my choices with fear, grief and and the intense mental disorientation of living under the assumption of one’s imminent death year after year.

I also suffered from several addictions: to meth, to money, and perhaps most importantly, to getting away with things. I got away with so much, GQ magazine actually did a story on me. (Hopefully, to be soon seen on the small screen.)

This is what I learned in prison:


A begets B, and B begets C, etc. Our personal alphabet can go in all sorts of directions and trajectories — this is life. But for some more than others, the letters get muddled or skipped; they start in the middle of the alphabet and go strangely backward, in the case of the President, failing upward against all seeming logic. But eventually we all get to Y or Z. That Z can be a beautiful thing, as we see with Jimmy Carter, or it can be the culmination of bad act after bad act after bad act, as we are seeing with the current occupant of the White House.

Trump is at his last letters, and he will not have a V-shaped recovery. If he recovers at all, there are still too many consequences that the laws of reality demand eventually must occur.

I’ve always thought that the tee-totaling president had one glaring addiction: compulsive gambling. He must make larger and larger bets for the rush of bigger and bigger payoffs. Running for President in 2016 was by far the biggest bet he’d made until then, and he’s been chasing the rush of winning again every day since then. This is why he’s been trying to get re-elected for a job he doesn’t even like and hasn’t the vaguest idea how to do. And the next, bigger bet if he wins? Dictator for life.

It is doubtful he’ll actually learn anything from getting corona — perhaps only if he’s gasping on a ventilator, in a flash before he is summoned to hell. Just as likely, he’ll be back on the campaign trail within a week — although the odds have gone up considerably that he will use COVID as an excuse to resign, in order to save face and have something to blame for his landslide loss, forever claiming he would have won the election otherwise.

But this I know. However this Shakespearean melodrama ends, it will end badly for Donald Trump. He’s never sought redemption, doesn’t believe in apology, is incapable of empathy. There is a price to be paid for embracing such darkness, sure as C follows B, and B follows A. I will enjoy watching him pay it, sorry only that as a country he dragged us into the casino with him.

MCO 2020

Author, "Ink from the Pen," about my 9 months using creativity as the ultimate survival tool behind bars.

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