I have been on the verge of tears since Tuesday. It is an uncomfortable feeling. One I have only felt during times of grief. Which I now realize this is. I am grieving.
I have never felt a fear like I did Tuesday night. My husband and I were in our respective improv classes until 10pm. A few students and myself stole glances at our phones. The results were …unexpected. We kept saying it was early. Everyone kept saying it was early.
Cut to several hours later, curled up on the couch, my husband pacing. We were silent. I was crying, I couldn’t breathe. The world felt like it was spinning downward, not forward. As it got later, my husband sat next to me and we held each other, watching the television, unable to find words. When we finally retreated to our bedroom to watch from the TV in there, my husband fell asleep. I couldn’t sleep. I kept watching. Our cats lay on top of both of us, knowing there was something amiss. This was normally their crazy run around the house time. They were silently sleeping, holding each other and us. When he was one point away, I shook my husband awake and said “It’s happening” and turned off the TV. I rolled over and began to sob.
In the morning, my husband got up first. I went to the bathroom to shower and collapsed into tears. Our cat, Daenerys, came in and sat beside me, looking at me softly with her bright dragon green eyes. How do animals know? I tried to stop crying but I couldn’t. I was sobbing, I couldn’t breathe. I read the email my mother had sent to me and my brother. My mother is one of the strongest people I know and she was scared.
I received and sent so many texts from terrified friends. We all didn’t understand how this was happening. We had just spent the past year joking about this situation. It couldn’t happen.
But it did.
In the days since, any drive I had has fallen. Before I was ready to fully commit to our production company and my future princess party business. I was excited about the improv opportunities I was a part of. I was happy, determined, ready to hit the ground running. And now, my balloon feels deflated. I feel drained, tired, like I have nothing left.
I feel like I can’t make art. I know this is the most important time to make art. These are the moments in history where the best art is created. When the struggle is real and we feel lost, abandoned, unheard. But I am uninspired. I am angry and terrified. I had plans, an idea of how my future would be, and with this person running the country supposedly for the next four years, I am not sure I can do any of those plans. I am not secure in my rights as a woman. I am not secure in my rights for my friends and family. I am not secure in this country.
I could list all the reasons I did not think this was possible. I could list all the reasons why I could never in my right mind vote for that man. I know there are people who feel that way about Hillary Clinton. I know there are people who believe this man will save them. I believe he played the game he has been very good at: selling individuals something and not following through with the promises that were made at the time of sale. I do not think he is to be trusted. I do not think a man who has to post on Twitter that the safe, silent, and respectful protests are “Very unfair!” I’m sorry, but are you fucking kidding me? You are supposed to be a President. A few protests will be the very last thing that is unfair in the next four years and the rest of your life.
I do not think this man knows what this job entails. I think it will change him. I hope for the better. But I don’t think those who voted for him are going to get the brash, out of control, say what he wants person they were hoping for. The game of politics is still played, even with an outsider. The rest of Washington, even if they are of his party, know the rules. Even Tywin Lannister knew that.
I feel guilty laughing. I feel guilty sharing things that are not about this situation we are in. I don’t want to talk about anything else. It is consuming me. I have had my heartbroken multiple times this week as I tried to make peace with those who voted opposite of me but I was attacked every time. I was told I was whining, I was stupid, I was prejudice. I asked questions because I do not get it. I honestly just wanted to know why. You all shot me down like I was an idiot. Like I was a brat for questioning this. He is a reality TV star. I’m sorry if I want to know why and how he got into the White House. That doesn’t sit quite right with me. If he had lost and Hillary had won, I’m sure I would be seeing similar grievances from his supporters.
I do not recall an election like this in my lifetime. When Mitt Romney ran, I did not send texts that I was scared to my friends. Nervous, sure, I wasn’t a big fan, but not paralyzed with actual fear. I have never seen every single article posted on every medium asking why or how this happened and what to do about it. We have petitions. We have fucking suicide hotlines being shared because hate crimes and teen suicides have run rampant in three days. THREE DAYS. This is not normal, this is not okay. My friends and family are being attacked. How can you look me in the eye and say it will be fine? This man is a bomb waiting to explode at any time and his finger is on the biggest red button there is.
I want to make art again. I want this pile of rocks in my stomach to go away. I want to log onto Facebook and not see hate and hear horrible stories of how a gay man got hit in the face with a rock or a brother doesn’t speak to a sister any more because she voted for Hillary. I am on the verge of a panic attack every day. I came home today, sat down on the couch, and cried again. I don’t know what is going to happen. I know I keep reading awful things he plans to do that would set this country back 50 or more years. I know I have to fight. I had someone I don’t know ask me if I am going to do anything or just whine about it. I told him he clearly didn’t know me. I am doing everything I can to make sure nothing that man does that is harmful sticks. I will fight. I will write letters, sign petitions, attend rallies. I mean, if we are going back to what was happening in the 1960’s and 70’s, great, let’s do it. That’s my favorite music era. Also I really like bellbottoms. We can bring those back, too, why not? They may already be back…I’m not up to date with the trends.
When can I make art? I don’t know. I hope it’ll come. I had to write this because I had to get it out. It helped. I don’t know if I will share it. There’s too much anger with anything I’ve said and I’ve been nothing but kind. All I do know is that the art that comes from this time is going to be fucking incredible. I fear we are headed to a civil war. I hope not. This country was created by men and women who wanted freedom and new choices of how to live. It welcomed everyone. Don’t believe me? Listen to “Hamilton”. PLEASE. Read a fairy tale and realize there is good and evil in this world and we may have just let evil into our highest office. Read Harry Potter and learn that everyone can be friends if we have a common goal which I think for the US is to not implode.
I am not against Republicans. I never have been. I know a lot of them and they are great, smart, kind, wonderful people. I know Libertarians too. And Independents. And everyone else. I do not believe the man that was elected is a Republican. I do think he will give you what he promised. I hope he turns out to be as moderate as he was before he ran. But he did encourage these hate crimes and racism with his words. The people performing these crimes are scrawling his name on cars, walls, and prayer room doors. Has there been another President where Nazi flags have gone up and people are telling other people he is going to deport them because they may look Middle Eastern? Because that happened to my friend who is not in fact Middle Eastern. She was told to enjoy her last holidays in this country because Trump was coming for her by a stranger at a grocery store in New York who she accidentally bumped into.
I never thought we would be here. Please give us all time as we try and navigate through this. Please respect our loss. Please know we don’t hate you. We want to understand you so that we can stand beside you again. We are trying. We are fighting for the good. We will make art again. I don’t know when, but we will. And it will be great.
Consider this my first artistic contribution.