Our economy will keep cratering, and our poor won't stop killing and dying in foreign lands on phony pretexts. Trumping Trump, Obama promised such a sane and peaceful future, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As he cynically presided over eight years of continuous war on multiple fronts, killing hundreds of thousands, Obama's fans never flinched. Though no servant of Israel can ever deliver peace, Trump will really stop war, the Trumpians insist.
Trump's inauguration is merely hours away. Wearing a hoodie to keep warm, I sit at my kitchen table typing this. Should I be finished by dawn, I may reward myself with a trip to Ray's Happy Birthday Bar, just down the street. It opens at 7AM to serve those who have worked all night. Walking in, I may see hospital, restaurant and factory workers, those most likely to have voted for Trump. It's quite a sick irony that our economic bottom is drawn to a self-aggrandizing billionaire, with his uber rich cabinet.
Maria's ideal politician is Rafael Trujillo. Before he was assassinated, Trujillo killed more than 50,000 people over 30 years. Maria also condones torture as punishment. Watching television news in Friendly, she'd sometimes prescribe the most ghastly penalties for criminals. "She should have a red hot poker shoved up her vagina!"
Though John also voted for Trump, he'd rather not talk about our new president. In Friendly, John is always glued to the video blackjack, and practically nothing, not even a woman in heat, can pull the stolid man from his machine.
"Fifty-eight. Too old for you."
John is retired and does not seem short of cash. Sometimes, he'd buy the entire bar a round. I think John stays mum about Trump mostly to avoid aggravating Vernon, the black Vietnam vet. Just hearing the name makes Vern lose his composure. Even Melania is not spared.
"I'm going to hate this First Lady more than sh*t itself! She's a b*tch! She's a piece of sh*t white trash! Supermodel my ass! She ain't my fuckin' supermodel! She ain't my fuckin' First Lady."
When not apoplectic over politics, Vern is extremely kind. For example, he regularly brings TV dinners to Angelo, a man who lives out of his car and is always broke.
Peter, trÃ¨s gay, also voted for Trump. At Friendly, he's always the loudest and most emotional. Sometimes he'd even weep into a paper towel. The hurt in Peter's voice can erupt into a feeble rage that's more comic than threatening. Beneath the abrasiveness is a soft, sweet man.
I've been with the same food service company for 22 years. I used to make $25 an hour, but now it's down to 16.10, and they f*ck you up the ass too!
I got so sick of it, I applied at just about every restaurant in Center City, but who would you hire, me or some 19-year-old?
I was living with this slum lord for seven years. I shared a house with four other people. I paid $400 a month. My room was the size of a napkin.