I wasn’t sure I would write anything. Nothing I say is going to make any difference. I would be just another voice screaming in the abyss.
But words have been floating through my head since late last night, and I need them out. I need them down on virtual paper to make them slow down and stop swirling.
I considered trying to write something that eloquently describes how I feel, but what I’m feeling is not eloquent. What I’m feeling is raw and exposed.
The world is shifting in and out of focus. One minute I am staring down the grim reality of what just happened. The next minute it doesn’t seem real. It’s a double whammy — Trump won and we lost our chance for a woman president for at least another four years, but probably much longer. And most of us never saw it coming.
I haven’t cried much since Rowan came home from the hospital. Something about the experience left me drained of my ability to tap that part of sadness or anger. Last night struck through and into every tear that has been building behind the floodgates. Now I’m at work and I cannot stop crying. I’m so thankful that I work in an overwhelmingly liberal office, where I don’t have to hide my red eyes. I didn’t even bother with mascara or contacts this morning, they would have never lasted. Someone put brownies in the work room.
Last night as Lorelei was getting ready for bed I gave her a huge hug, her legs wrapped around my waist as we talked about how important this election was, what it meant that we would have our first woman president. Lorelei was the one who reminded me that it wasn’t over yet. This morning I had to tell her. I fully expected a meltdown. She reads my emotions well, and her emotions tend to run high. Instead, she whimpered, “where’s kitty?” Kitty is her stuffed cat that we got her when I was in the hospital. It is her security blanket when she is feeling sad or anxious. I think I would have preferred the meltdown. She keeps saying she doesn’t understand, and asking me why. I’ve got nothing, sweetie. I don’t know either.
I thought about writing something hopeful and uplifting. But fuck if I can muster that.
When I got home yesterday, Zach and the kids were in the front yard. Lorelei was wearing her Elsa dress and marching around the yard with a sign. She had taken it upon herself to make a vote for Hillary sign, and was chanting, “Vote for Hillary! Vote for Hillary!” My heart was full. It ran over with the love I have for my sweet and sensitive daughter, who was about to witness history.
She witnessed history alright.
This morning, as I walked her into school, I saw a lot of shell-shocked parents. It was a dreary, rainy, grey morning. My daughter’s school has a large black and Hispanic population, and I know some of those kids are scared. Truly, truly scared. One friend was walking her daughter into school as I was walking back to my car. With barely a word we stopped and hugged. What else could we do?
As I was watching the results come in last night I was kicked in the head with the fact that the world is still spinning and the show must go on. Rowan woke up and needed me. I sat in my big comfy recliner and I nursed him and I cried.
Suddenly, the jokes aren’t funny anymore. The memes have shifted from hilarious to devastating in their truth.
I’m reminded of Dar Williams’ song, “Something to Get Through.” It’s about depression, and though the lyrics don’t all apply, it still seems appropriate.
“Wake up and you still feel the same
it’s hard to move when you’re still reeling from the pain”
Then I realize that the lyrics that speak to me most right now are coming from my place of inherent privilege. Yes, women took a hit here, but it’s nothing like our minority friends. Our LGBTQ+ friends.
“It’s just something to get through
I’ll bet you’ll be laughing with your friends
In the light of a better day
Just not today”
For me, it probably is just something to get through. For some, this feels like life and death. For some, this may be life and death.
I’m going to try to use Trump’s name more when referring to him. Nicknames felt snarky and safe during the election. Like, if we didn’t take it seriously maybe it wouldn’t be serious.
Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.
Drumpf. Human cheese doodle wearing a dead fox spun in a cotton candy machine. Drumpster fire. Fuckface von Clownstick. Oompa Loompa. Agent Orange. Orange Julius.
Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States of America.
Donald. Fucking. Trump.
Somebody hold me.