Wednesday, November 9, 2016


In spite of all evidence to the contrary, I’ve mostly retained my faith in the goodness of human beings.

And now this.

I’m lying awake in the middle of the night and there is no way to make sense of it. There is no sunny side of this street, no silver lining in this cloud ready to pour down its shitstorm. There is no way to swallow this hot iron ball lodged in my throat, no way to spit it out. There is no analysis that brings comfort, no humor that helps me lighten up and soldier on, no shoulder shrug that makes it okay with “whatever.” There is no country to run to and no way I can see to keep my life going here, no pleasure that will ever feel genuine in the face of what just went down. There is no hostile takeover from a foreign power that could be worse than us freely choosing this fate. No blame on the shameless media, the women who punched themselves in the face, the preachers and teachers that failed to awaken Jesus’ message or made their students pass Intelligence 101, that will make an ounce of difference in helping me figure out how to make it through the next 24 hours, never mind the next four years. 

Everywhere I turn is darkness and I am lying awake in that darkness with my mind spinning out of control and my heart beating wildly and my hope a puddle on the floor. There is no comfort in the comradery of the 50% who did the right thing knowing that 1 out of 2 of us just signed their name on the dotted line of doom and are bringing us all down. There is no Plan B I can see, never mind C, D, E. There is no way to accept it and no way to reject it. There is no comforting God that can convince me it’s all part of His or Her plan.

I and the people I know and love have committed the crime of waking up. Once you know the story of Reconstruction and Custer’s Last Stand and Emmet Till and the 10 million other horrors you have chosen to know so that you can make sure they don’t happen again, once you wake up to this kind of knowledge, you can never go back to sleep again. Once you have committed the crime of caring, it feels impossible to put on the cloak of denial and shoot your heart full of novocaine. And nothing can be more maddening than living in a democracy where the vote of an ignorant and hateful person carries the same weight as a knowledgeable and caring one. No system can be more broken than one that allows a narcissistic, psychopathic, hate-mongering, mean-spirited liar who won't even pay taxes to the government he now will run to be allowed to run for what once was an exalted office.

I’ve lost faith that we’ll make it through to the point where the history books will show that Democracy in the United States died on November 8, 2016. No one will read them, no one will care, perhaps no one will be here to read or care as the most unqualified and despicable excuse for a human being in the history of America leads us over the brink, with our permission and encouragement.

Why even bother to write this? Why would you bother to read it? How am I going to face the children in my classes today? How can I ever sleep through the night hoping to awaken from this nightmare only to have it shaking me by my shoulders and reminding me it’s really happening. Now, today, tomorrow, for four long, long years. I’ve been here before with Bush and I didn't do well with it, but that looks like a picnic by comparison. No matter what beauty awaits me, what moments of genuine love, what funny or poignant or extraordinary things, this will be in the frame. Like listening to Bach standing knee deep in shit.

Heaven help us all. We have met the enemy and he is us.

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