Breaking up with Barack


Breaking up with Barack

Illustration: Akshita Monga

They lied to us when they said 2017 would be better,
For our love has left us and we have nowhere to go
Obama was Jack and we his Rose,
The ship is sinking and now we lyin’ dead in the snow

It’s happening. His farewell speech is done, the tearful goodbye over, the post-break-up exhaustion setting in. Barry is going to leave the building in nine days, eight-odd hours.

On the 11th day of the first month of 2017, we’re shedding tears with the rest of the world. Thousands of rap verses will be dedicated to analysing Barack Obama’s legacy, his impact on blackness, and his two terms as First Dude. But for us, mere Obamabros from ghettos all over the world who bought into the hope and change he sold us, this marks the end of a glorious love affair. Obama loved us and we hearted him back, but now he’s gone, leaving us high and super dry in the arms of a trashy replacement skank.

Now we must learn to move on. And as I keep falling in love despite having my heart trampled upon with surgical precision by many a six-inch heel, let me tell you how to take our broken hearts and turn them into art.

Step 1: Chuck the disbelief

It’s over guys. There’s no way we can have him again. At this point, a Barry comeback is second only to a successful Rahul Gandhi on the impossibility scale, so embed the only golden rule of a break-up in your hearts: Holding on to the initial disbelief for long is inversely proportional to the number of lovers you’ll have in the future.

Step 2: Cry yourselves a river

Let it all out. Let the 100-feet waves hit your broken heart with the force of a billion Obama smiles. Cry, cry, cry with the dying of the light because mofos, Barry’s gone and we are left with a suicide ladder which is as tall as the difference between Donald Trump’s ego and his IQ.

Thirty tear-filled viewings of 500 Days of Summer later, I figured that getting your heart broken is always a sucky proposition and you almost certainly never become professionally woke.

Step 3: Block them curve-balls like you’re Rahul Dravid

It says so in the Holy Book: “One does not simply consume the social media content of lovers past and not feel an assault of knees on the shaft.” Listen to the word of the wise. Delete Obama from the Gram, block him on FB and Twitter, and unfollow his Snapchat because we are Single Ladies now.

Step 4: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger

Scientifically speaking, alcohol is a solution. Heartbreakingly speaking, alcohol is the only solution. Always remember that beauty lies in the eyes of the beer holder, and you’ll need it for Trump’s inauguration speech soon. And you teetotallers, convert your sorrow into depression: Remember, the road to normalcy is best traversed tipsy.

Step 5: Fuck it

Thirty tear-filled viewings of 500 Days of Summer later, I figured that getting your heart broken is always a sucky proposition and you almost certainly never become professionally woke. But you know what? #HeartbrokenLivesMatterToo

If rinsing and repeating the first few steps places you in a space where your world isn’t ending when you catch a glimpse of Obama lurking in the backyard of your soul, then watching Trump getting hammered with Julian Assange on a yacht somewhere near Syria will. By now, you’re past a lot of anger, tears, and alcohol to be able to kick back and say “Fuck it”.

Step 6: The calm after the storm

Over time, friends, drunkenness, re-runs of Veep and an Adele-free playlist will fill the perfectly Barry-shaped hole in our hearts and we will move on towards a future where Donald Trump has access to nuclear codes. And that will be OK.

We’ll reach a place where we’re walking in the winter sun, checking our Twitter before we’re hit by a Gram of the Obamas vacationing in Hawaii. But it’s alright. We can handle it now; we are no longer puking at every picture of Trump at the Oval Office. Congratulations. You have recovered.

This isn’t a happy ending because Barry and us didn’t get a happy ending. But a young black dude once famously asked us to believe in hope, and in this hyper-turbulent era, it is time to hope again.

P.S. If none of the above work, I hear that extra cheesy enchiladas are pretty fly.