Do dreams come true?
Do great epics have great sequels?
All these questions may be coming to a head. Dan Sinker, the Columbia College journalism professor behind the foul, hilarious, gripping Twitter epic, isn’t saying a word one way or another. But ardent followers of the dormant account have been getting some hints, and there may be reason for us to hope—and be worried.
The Trib reported this week that momentary tweets have been spotted from @MayorEmanuel, deleted almost as quickly as they’re seen. They’ve been preserved through retweets and screengrabs; a wise few have set up their cell phones to text the tweets when they arrive. Of course, the tweets are in binary code— long strings of 0s and 1s—and backwards. Once deciphered, they reveal a troubling tale: just after Election Day, @MayorEmanuel disappeared into a time vortex. We assumed he was gone for good, as the rules of the universe dictate that only one Rahm Emanuel is allotted to each universe at a time. (There are multiple universes. Physicists think it’s likely, and more to the point, writers love it, so just go with me on this.) Now, however, something seems to be amiss. @MayorEmanuel seems to be sending profane entreaties to faithful Carl the Intern to “[mess] with the signal,” because there’s something wrong with time itself.
Skeptics, of course, will come up with more prosaic explanations. The real Mayor Emanuel was inaugurated earlier this week, which is a great event to piggyback for attention. Dan Sinker is also, to my great delight, publishing an @MayorEmanuel book with an unprintable title in the fall. The book will be thoroughly annotated and cross-checked, and it’s my great hope as a comic book nerd that it will be illustrated too.
Count me among the straight-up devotees, though. I’m a writer of fiction myself, and I can’t help imagining all the various ways this story could have continued after that final, incomplete tweet that thundersleety February night. In my mind, @MayorEmanuel crossed over into a Chicago without its own Rahm, but it was a wrong Chicago. It was a Chicago with Wal-Marts and thin crust pizza and championship-winning Cubs. It may even have been a Chicago without easy access to coffee, and anyone with more than passing familiarity with @MayorEmanuel knows that his love for coffee is outdone only by his love for elaborate curses. Of course he’s going to come back. He belongs here.
If you’re interested in the entire @MayorEmanuel saga and want to catch up before, fingers crossed, any more tweets come barreling our way, I advise you to check out quaxelrod.com. All the tweets are collected in chronological order, so you can read the whole thing from the beginning. (Be careful at work, though: you may not want to explain all the swear words on your screen or the reason you’re laughing so hard to your boss.) If you’re still waiting to be persuaded, let me leave you with a summary from another Tweeter, as quoted in The Atlantic: “It was a story about love all along, wadnit? Glorious […] cross-species time-bending Chicago-style love.” That should sell anybody, I think.
I’m the first to say it: We all love a good apocalypse. (Heck, we’re scheduled for the Rapture this weekend.) The end of the world is a great way to get our attention, and if time itself is falling apart, I want a guy like @MayorEmanuel on my side. Keep an eye out, Oy!sters. I can’t wait to see what happens next.