Barrelhouse Eulogizes 2016: Optimism

Optimism

1776--2016

 

By Ryan Rydzewski

 

As its longtime friend and occasional lover, it's with great sadness that I report the violent murder and dismemberment of Optimism during the early morning hours of last November the 9th.

It had gone missing the evening prior — the precise time, I can’t recall — but roughly as Republicans seized the southern state of Florida.

I had retired for the night shortly thereafter, hoping for the best. A resident of Pittsburgh, I felt I knew something of Optimism’s comings and goings. I slept peacefully, assured of my companion’s safe return.

Imagine my anguish, then, upon receiving the grotesque news: Optimism had been butchered, the papers said, its remains sown in the back alleys and frozen fields of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Toxicology tests revealed ether, benzodiazepines, and a near-lethal dose of the American electorate.

Truth be told, I’d suspected a malady for some time. Despite its façade — all quick wit and gaiety — Optimism had grown withdrawn in recent months, its reassuring beam diminished by heartbreak and catastrophe.

“At least we still have Prince!” it had remarked at Mr. Bowie’s passing.

But by October, its quips had ceased entirely.

Optimism’s auditors assess its estate as follows: four (4) justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, several tattered “HOPE” posters, and 65 million members of something dubbed “the resistance.”

It’s survived by a distant son, Despair, and a beloved daughter, Action.

Services will be held January the 20th in the nation’s capital.

In lieu of flowers, alms may be sent to the Charity for Christian Women’s Health or the League of Anti-Tyrannical Patriots.


Ryan Rydzewski is a freelance writer covering education, history, and politics. A graduate of Chatham University's MFA program, he lives and writes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.