Martin O’Malley’s podium at tonight’s Democratic debate is a metaphor.

Oh, Martin. Three days ago he was running for president. But after pulling in less than 1 percent of the vote in Iowa, he dropped out of the race, saying that though he wasn’t “giving up this fight,” he was literally giving up the fight for the Democratic nomination.

But O’Malley was in the race late enough that a podium was built for him for tonight’s Democratic debate. That podium, sadly, will never get to see action:

Martin O’Malley’s podium is a metaphor for his candidacy, sure: it looks real nice, but ultimately gets shoved to the side, amidst road cases and other detritus. But Martin O’Malley’s podium is also a metaphor for us. The dour Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran once asked, “Is it possible that existence is our exile and nothingness our home?” Looking at this podium, I can say that the answer is yes.

Martin O’Malley’s podium is a reminder that I will die.