I have a hell of a time finding goggles for swimming. They never seem to fit, mostly in the bridge region. Goddamn things let water seep in every lap. It sucks.
After years of having no idea why pool specs rarely fit correctly, a person close to me who shall remain unnamed let me in on a wide-open secret: “Your eyes are really close together,” she said.
I looked in the mirror.
Holy shit! She wasn’t kidding.
In the time since, I have been uncharacteristically self-conscious of my shortcoming, often wearing sunglasses to hide my beady peepers. It’s not the first time I’ve had feelings of inadequacy; as the shortest boy in my entire class in middle school, I got picked on and beaten, even losing several teeth in one instance. I’ve been over that for years and even fought back on some occasions; nevertheless, this new awareness of my physically myopic and cycloptic optics has been a reminder of the terror that comes with the feeling that you don’t think, look, or act like your tormentors say you are supposed to.
Lucky for me, my bully wasn’t the President of the United States. Because when I was growing up, the people who had that position didn’t use their pulpits to nitpick the perceived flaws of former flames. To be clear, every POTUS since George Washington has been a warmonger and tool of the elite (yes, that includes Barack Obama). But while I hate to join the sentimental set and waste my precious weekly column space on trite issues of fed import that larger outlets needle needlessly around the clock, I can’t help but acknowledge the egregious lowlight of Donald Trump calling Stormy Daniels “Horseface.”
I’m not here to police insults people like to use in private. To do so is as foolish as it’s futile; if the president had any friends, I could care less about what he said in their company. But for chrissakes, whether you’re a high-ranking honcho or a high school punk who got head after prom, it can’t be said enough that there are few things more transparently pathetic than publicly mocking the appearance of a person you got sloppy with. That such behavior is applauded by Trump’s base is no surprise to anybody who has seen the infantile bigots at his rallies, but that doesn’t make his verbal assaults less harrowing, since they reflect the increasing attacks on women, people of color, and this past week, especially trans people, as Trump “is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law,” according to the New York Times.
You might ask: Should my condemnation of name-calling also apply to Daniels? She did, after all, make the word “mushroom” trend after she spoke about the shape of Trump’s dick on TV. The porn star apologized, but didn’t really have to, since she’s ultimately just trying to show that he is lying about their affair, and describing genitals is always a great way to prove that something (or somebody) went down.
Fortunately, I think she’ll be okay; Daniels knows she’s hot and that the POTUS likely jerks off to her regularly, and I doubt that she was too offended by the insult. As for the rest of us who are twisting in the wind with this presidency, waiting to see if he will fuck and diss us next, that’s another story altogether.
In my case, it turns out that my eyes may not be too far apart after all. The problem, I’m starting to realize, is my big-ass nose. Luckily, I learned to embrace it years ago. It’s distinguished and aerodynamic, and it helps me sniff out frauds like Trump from blocks away.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.