I have an addiction. I’m not a social media person. I’m not a twitterer. I don’t even have a smart phone. But I do have a compulsion to know what tweet our president has concocted today, or what kerfuffle is dominating the news.
This need to know has taken over my leisure time — now not so leisurely. The news stories about President Donald Trump and Russia would be amusing if they weren’t so ridiculous and dangerous. There is no pattern. I never know when a bombshell will let loose. It’s unpredictable. Yesterday’s news is old news. So I check.
I am compelled by some unknown force to search for articles on the president’s shenanigans in the newspapers and other media outlets. TRUMP. TRUMP. TRUMP. The news is marching, all to the same tune. The outrage is the same. The lack of conclusions is the same. The march goes on.
I need a fix. I look at my watch. I’m like an alcoholic who mustn’t drink before 5 o’clock. It’s almost 5, I will check out what’s happening. I could take a quick look at TV. The trouble is that once I tune in, I’m hooked. I won’t be able to shut it off. I prefer MSNBC and PBS, but try CNN, too. The stations might have fresh meat to satisfy my craving. I doubt it, but you never know. The crawl on the bottom of the screen says, “BREAKING NEWS.” Could there be a new outlandish tweet? I check. No, same old regurgitated stuff.
I can’t believe this is happening to me. I never used to look at the newspapers after my morning read. I never turned on the TV until the evening news. The radio stays silent. I loved the silence — until now. There’s a weird vibration in the air. I can feel it. Can it be produced by some high-tech genius who has programmed the airwaves of the world to listen to this unstable human spout nonsense?
I know! Maybe it’s an alien from space manipulating our frequencies, sending viruses to our internet? The Russians took the first step by hacking our election.
I think the president has gained weight. His skin is getting redder, his hair is getting wilder, his nose is growing with every lie.
Why are we fascinated by him? He’s an enigma. From the most intellectual to the uneducated, the conversation invariably turns to Trump. Is it fear? Soon every facade and sign will bear his name. There will be no escape. It’s getting worse. What are we waiting for — an apocalypse? There has to be a virus let out by his press secretary infecting our brains. An alternate truth to satisfy our craving to know our destiny?
All my imaginings sound rabid and hysterical, but I can’t stop. I see a shadow on the wall. It’s a plane! It’s a train! It’s super Trump blown up to the size of a blimp. Now that’s something that MSNBC can’t top.
I must calm down. I will leave the house and won’t be tempted. As I step out the door, I meet my neighbor.
“Have you heard the latest?” she says conspiratorially. “There is a snitch in the White House ready to spill the beans.” I’ve got to ask, “So, what’s the story?”
Reader Maxine Stone lives in Great Neck.