the concept of “hope” is still possible, but it’s hope in the negative. Hope that something doesn’t happen, such as a car accident or sickness or someone you love having a car accident or sickness. Hope that the toilet doesn’t break. Hope that you don’t lose your job, even though you hate it. Hope that that thing on your dick doesn’t turn out to be what you fear it might be. Or if you’re a chick, hope that the guy you slept with after six glasses of inexpensive pinot noir didn’t fire that first drop inside you and that instead the reason your period is four days late because of some vitamin deficiency. Like, it would have happened on time if you had eaten more spinach or chicken is what it is, not that you are now carrying the seed of a guy with visible pores in his nose and why does he keep such long stubble even though his beard is grossly sparse and patchy, and his hideous long nipple hairs… Hope that you didn’t leave the stove on, as you suddenly and vividly suspect you might have at 9:15AM in the office and you are going to be at work until 7 and that greasy pot holder was laying close enough to the burner you boil your coffee on that the air will be so hot that the potholder will certainly catch flame; you picture your cat trapped screaming in the smoking house roasting alive and the upstairs neighbors horribly disfigured, skin grafts from their thighs giving their faces that weird newtlike appearance for the rest of their lives because you left the fucking stove on… hope that that doesn’t happen. That’s what hope is.
Because there is no hope for good things. There is no hope that you will meet your soul mate today. There is no hope that you will find some unexpected financial boon, although there is rather a large chance that you’ll encounter some unexpected expense. Some unexpected hassle, some collection agency tracking down your gas bill from fucking college, some ambulance ride that insurance didn’t cover that turned out to cost seventeen hundred dollars for all eight minutes of it, some car part breaking that no, we don’t have that one, we have to order it, and you know, you could use an aftermarket part but frankly that’ll just break again, better to use the manufacturer’s original clocking in at four hundred sixty five dollars just to be safe, plus labor. Eighty dollars an hour for three hours of labor by a guy who came to America clinging to the undercarriage of a lettuce truck and probably shared his childhood bedroom with a donkey—that guy had fucking hope.
So the best way to understand hope is that while your life is not throwing any easy pussy or easy money or even a free pair of shoes at you, you have the hope that the things that get you to zero—all bills paid, car runs to get me to the job that I hate; I do not have adult acne or AIDS—there is the hope that not one of those thousands of things goes slightly awry even for a second rendering the whole elaborate interlocking machine a complete fucking catastrophe. You can hope that shit stays together long enough for you to occasionally enjoy a nice burrito or a good television show or a solid jack session with some unexpectedly enticing porn.
There is not a lot of pure hope, but for the pessimist, there is a lot of relief. Which, fine, I’ll fucking take it.