As Inauguration Day arrives, I find myself in a strange mental state. At the most basic level, it is still a matter of incredulity to me that Trump is going to take the oath of office and become President of the United States. If I stop to think about it I start rehearsing in my mind the utter absurdity of it. Teeth get gritted and steering wheels death-gripped. It’s like the universe has played a practical joke on humanity (because who POTUS is at any given moment affects most if not all of the people on the planet) and we’re just waiting for the sumbitch to bust out laughing and tell us it was all a joke.
At another level, I am trying to think what I can do. Writing, for sure– this is one time I wish I had the gift of satire, because, by all the evidence, a good satire gets right under Donald’s skin in a way that really highlights his narcissism and self-centered ways. Contributing to progressive causes and groups and being the best citizen I can possibly be are other things I can do. Oh, and if the Clown-in-Chief actually implements a Muslim registry, I intend to register as a Muslim, which will at least tell El Bozo that his little plan to scapegoat a religion isn’t going to slip by unnoticed and unremarked.
At the same time it is strange how everyday life still makes its demands on you.
I still need a job. I still need to lose weight (not helped by all the comfort eating I’ve been doing in the last two months). I am in the midst of figuring out how to end a very long relationship. I’m worried about my blood-pressure and diabetes and trying to remember to take my medication for both. I am adjusting to the consequences of a long-distance relocation, some of which I anticipated and some I didn’t. I worry about my daughter, from whom I am now physically separated but still as close as a text.
I still have to brush my teeth and shower and (at least once or twice a week) shave my face. I still have to do laundry (note to self: today is probably a good day for that). I have books to read and items to pick up at the store.
I am still trying to write fiction– I’m attempting to serialize The Horseman on this blog, and Princess of Stars, about which I haven’t talked a great deal in the last few months, is still an active project, at least hypothetically. Part of me wonders if fiction isn’t a frivolous distraction right now, but then I remember that fiction can be a powerful vessel for truth. It’s an open question whether I have the talent to make my writing as effective as it could be, but I am still possessed of the impulse to write stories, even as the house burns down around me.
And then I find myself, just for a moment, wild with happy excitement at a new Logan trailer (careful, it’s got splashing gore in it, but then, it’s Logan, waddaya expect)–
At one level, you might expect this to be far off my radar, but on the other hand, I suspect in the next year or so we’re all going to need moments of down-time, of allowing ourselves to be distracted from whatever disaster is unfolding. Logan is not the only movie I’m looking forward to this year, and then there’s Season 7 of Game of Thrones.
This is an important point– for all our fear and uncertainty, and despite the necessity of resistance, we will still need to tend to our ordinary, workaday lives. It’s essential we take care of ourselves and our loved ones, to make the lunches for the kids to take to school and to get the car lubed when needed. If we don’t we won’t be able to sustain our effort to speak truth to power, to stand up for the helpless, and to preserve the Republic.
So, take a deep breath, everybody. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Do what you can, and stay together. And we will get through this.