I’m sitting at my kitchen table watching an American flag fly over my neighbor’s apartment building. It’s been whipping in the wind all morning, but now it’s still. It’s twisted around itself, the red stripes encroaching the neck of the blue and the stars like they’re about to be suffocated.
I haven’t showered, haven’t put in my contacts, haven’t eaten, haven’t stopped crying. I cried until 2am. I woke up crying. I cried again watching Hillary’s speech, so gracious, graceful, and full of courage. I’m going back and forth between texts with my loved ones, my Facebook feed, NPR, Hillary’s words, and that incredible map of Blue voters 18-25 that gives me a swell of positive feelings for our future.
I don’t think anything I could write right now could possibly be well-thought out, organized, or even coherent. This blog was created for personal happy-spacing, but I can’t find that in my heart today. I don’t care if anyone reads this, it’s for me. And if you disagree, kindly don’t tell me so today.
We were set to celebrate Election-night’s #pantsuitnation win with a bottle of 2007 Vintage Schramsberg Brut Rosé, a sparkler favored by the White House and poured by every President since Nixon. Again, fitting, like our proposition night’s Iron Horse Presidential-themed bubbly. How proud, excited, full of love and hope I was yesterday. Me, a #nastywoman, and my husband a #nastywoMAN.
The sorrowful Sparkling Rosé bottle sits, unopened in our fridge, like a woman who spent countless hours fancying herself up to the nines for a date, only to find herself stood up and sitting alone at a bar. The hot pink lines that trace the label on the black bottle now look gaudy in the daylight. It’s staring at me as if to ask “so what are you gonna do now?”
What are we gonna do?
Last night, when the red started creeping across the map of the states, I proceeded to stress eat sugar-free-wheat-free zucchini muffins, then a bag of olive oil popcorn, drank 5 day old Sav Blanc, and then, as more and more states were lost, we broke into a 3 day old red we were about to pour down the sink. I couldn’t taste anything. By the time he took Idaho, I couldn’t watch anymore. I got in the bath, let the water run up to my ears in an attempt to drown out the fear slowly creeping through my veins. After the bath, by the dismal look in my husband’s eye, I knew things weren’t getting better. We watched two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I think I laughed once, my enthusiasm most definitely curbed.
After the announcement in red across the top of CNN, it was eerily silent in our neighborhood. Our dog, Oliver, felt it, too. In a very rare occurrence, as we were attempting to fall asleep, he jumped up to the bed with us, and sat there, shaking.
It’s hard to find the words to describe the stages of grief that I feel, what the women I hold so dear in my life feel today. My Mother is devastated. My Auntie is devastated. My Grandmother, 93 years of age, is devastated. My Godmother is devastated. Her dear friend, 83, is devastated. My best friend is devastated, devastated for her 2 year old daughter. We all feel this devastation, heartbreak, despair.
But for my second-mom, who is gay, this is her worst nightmare come true.
I ache for my LGBTQ friends and their children. I ache for my non-white friends. My friends in any type of minority. I ache for the rights of women, our bodies, our choices. It feels like a slap in the face, a punch in the gut for all the progress that’s been made. Were we indeed living inside a bubble? My Facebook newsfeed is generally like one of those colorful Chuck E. Cheese ball pits, flying balls full of love and hope and forward motion. We didn’t think it was possible. He was a joke, and Hillary was going to be the next President. Case closed.
But it turns out, he wasn’t a joke.
What are we gonna do? We have to keep on keeping on. I honestly don’t know how to today, but we have to do it tomorrow. We are gonna have to love one another FIERCELY. Hold each other up. Spread love. Find our Personal Happy Place. Invite others in. That’s what we can do, for now.
I hope I have sufficient cause to open that bottle of Schramsberg in my lifetime. Until then, it shall remain unopened, a corked and chilly reminder of my bubble being burst.