Hello Shitstorm, Hello Meatgrinder: Installment #7, Springtime Farm Report

By Adam Gnade

It’s getting dark in the farmhouse and I’m waiting on the kettle. This morning one of the first springtime thunderstorms rolled in; all day it’s been blustery, the rain falling quietly in the fields, which are deep-green now — everything new and alive and the trees thickening with young leaves and the leaves rustling in the wet breeze and the boughs dripping. It’s been a quiet day all around; I’ve had the radio on and I’ve kept close to it, waiting for updates on developments in the Trump administration’s possible (probable?) collusion with Russia. The names in this one are all Monster Manual stuff — Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, one of the most demonically sadistic organizations since the Khmer Rouge, and of course it ties in with Betsy DeVos, Prince’s sister, a potential worldeating shitmachine herself. This new guard wants to gut you and everything you love and feed your chunks into a woodchipper to mulch their garden. It’s like something Ayn Rand came up with in her worst, most self-righteous fever dreams. Real-life monsters — worse than the old monsters and less romantic than an afternoon in the Costco cafe. So we sit in the front room of the farmhouse and we wait and we listen, hoping to hell something good will come of this.

Elizabeth said yesterday, “I keep waiting for that one new thing to break that’ll be too much for everyone.” Maybe the Seychelles meeting will be it and this time next week we’ll be toasting the downfall and laughing it off in the way you laugh at old traumas. Maybe, but probably not. This year, if anything, has taught us to be pessimistic. Still, we wait and we hope and we listen.

The rain is coming down harder now; you can feel the window panes shake with the thunder (the kettle has begun to rattle on its burner in the kitchen), the room darkening with the coming dusk.


ADAM GNADE is the author of three books of fiction, Hymn California, Caveworld, and, most recently, Locust House. His series of novels and connected “talking records” are released by Pioneers Press and Three One G. He is also the author of a work of nonfiction, The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin‘ Sad. Born and raised in San Diego, CA, he now lives and writes on the Hard Fifty Farm situated in the hilly countryside between Kansas City, MO, and Lawrence, KS. He is currently working on a “large and substantial novel about Americans at home and away” with a late-2017 release. His work is available at http://www.pioneerspress.com.