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Dear John | Metaphors and Monsters and Mitch, oh My

I want you to know, 2020, I wrote this letter to you from a hidey-hole somewhere under my mom’s bed because I haven’t stopped crying yet, and I’m trying to avoid the high cost of therapy in your COVID-19 economy. I also need you to know I’ve filed multiple restraining orders against you to keep you out of my house and away from my street, and that I’ve trained the dog to chase you on sight.

Year 2020, you were a monster. I don’t mean this metaphorically, either, because you were a year filled with very real, very literal monsters. You let a 6’3”, orange, waddling cheeseburger carry over from 2019 and attempt to ransack American democracy. He tried to toss 7 million votes, simply because he wanted to stay in power, and you damn near let him. I have no sympathy for you.

Then you went and unleashed upon us another monster of a coronavirus that sometimes attacks and devours internal organs—or sometimes not—just to keep us jumpy, because you are a bastard. We had to stand and watch helplessly as our relatives’ lungs were eaten away, and heart tissue destroyed to the point where people who used to run for a living could barely take out the trash. These were our loved ones, and you delivered a bug that ruined them.

Earlier this year that same bug beat seven kinds of snot out of our economy. We could do nothing as children, siblings and loved one’s jobs vanished. We lost stability, cars, leases and peace of mind. Many of us had to move back in with our parents, or had parents who had to sell their property and move in with us. Do you know what it’s like living with dad again? You know he doesn’t wear underwear, right? Damn you, 2020. Damn you to hell.

You also kept us biting our nails about the future of our nation, up until the very damn end of the year. That orange cheeseburger I told you about spent the entirety of your final month fighting and clawing onto the White House, whole weeks after a few thousand Black voters and I told him to pack his sh*t. I mean, dang, that was frustrating. You had no right to cheat us out of a throaty sense of accomplishment after we’d drummed up amazing voting numbers to nab that win. That was hard work, and we deserved something for it.

But it’s 2021 now, and even though a vaccine isn’t going to be available to me for another few months, at least I have the hope of an economic stimulus package from the new Senate we snatched from you in January. You had nothing to do with that, of course, you creep. In November, you had us thinking we were going to be stuck with a dyspeptic liver named Sen. Mitch McConnell. It wasn’t until the January run-off in Georgia a few months later that we finally had a chance at a $15 minimum wage, new infrastructure development, global warming preventives and the possibility of four new senators rolling in from the new states of Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. to close McConnell’s moldy casket for good.

And so, I’m walking into my new year, Mr. 2020. I’m still wearing this stupid mask you gave me because I have to, and because I like my friends and family, and I don’t want ‘em dead. But I’m looking forward to a smarter Congress and a president who doesn’t need both hands to hold a glass of water. My income has changed, as it has with many others, but we’ve downsized our bills and we’ve clung together for strength and I think we can finally see a future where we’re just a little bit stronger as a nation, and maybe, finally, a little bit smarter, too.


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