Wednesday, November 9, 2016

There's Got to be a Morning After


I’m honestly flattened, knocked for a loop. I want to walk the middle of the road so as not to put off readers or get people twisted up. The Cubs, the White Sox, the Bears, the Packers, North and South, and, dare I say their names, Hillary and Trump. We all knew someone was going to lose and someone was going to win.

We just all hoped it would be us, the other guy’s pain, not ours. Last night, this campaign will forever go down in history, in collective memory, as a bad nightmare.

I have friends on many sides of the aisle. On Facebook I read posts thanking Jesus to others where the F-word showed up, with a few others. I care about all of you. I care about the future, my daughter, the economy (which just crashed), foreign policy. There is a lot that I wish could change. I wish for a do-over.

This morning I was tired. Really really tired. A good friend passed away last evening. He enjoyed walks in the park and last night he walked down to a bench, sat down, and never got back up. He watched the sunset. I learned of his death an hour or so before the polls closed. After getting home from election judging I met some of the family coming in the back door from the hospital where he was taken (across from the park). In the midst of shock and sadness they told me—He voted! He was still wearing the wristband given out at the polling place.

So this a.m. I worked my shift, showered, and watched Hillary concede on TV. I tried to remember what made me happy, that sweet spot. Biking! Reading books! Books! Being with my friends! So I hopped on my bike and rode to Women & Children First Bookstore. (LIKE THEM) I walked in and the lady behind the counter said, How can I help you?

I stood in front of her and began to cry. She came out from behind the counter and hugged me. Linda Bubon had spent her morning (a little hungover) reading books to toddlers. Bless you. We gathered, talked, commiserated, cried. I want to say we encouraged each other, but that’s not the case. I ended up buying a book. A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar. [A Map of Home is a 2008 novel by Randa Jarrar. The book tells the life of a girl named Nidali, the feminine version of Nidal, which means "struggle". A Map of Home is a coming-of-age tale, telling the story of Nidali's life in Kuwait, Egypt, and the United States. Set during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a larger backdrop, the novel depicts the struggles of Nidali and her family, exploring the question of what "home" means, and the character's identity.]

Friends, sisters, readers, cyclists, let’s commit to each other to support our local feminist bookstores. They are a rallying point, a place where we can find solace in these trying times.
The brilliant and funny Jacqueline Woodson read from BROWN GIRL DREAMING and ANOTHER BROOKLYN--I'm to the left in this photo, not in the pic