I'll tell you what, it's hard to write about anything when what is uppermost in my mind most of the time is something I want to give as little time to as possible.
In 1988, which was my first presidential election, I volunteered for Dukakis. I really liked him, he seemed reasonable, smart. Flawed, sure, but at least he seemed honest. I had hated the "folksy charm" of Reagan, and George Bush scared me -- he'd been the head of the CIA, and I thought that seemed like an untrustworthy kind of smart. When he won, I cried so much and I felt like I didn't know America. If America wanted a sneaky manipulator, I didn't belong, and it is not my way to stay where I don't feel wanted. So I left.
You can maybe extrapolate from that how I am feeling now. On top of that, genuine fear for some of my friends for whom it is much more than their principled stance that is threatened.
So that's what I don't want to think about. On Friday a couple friends came over and we ignored the inauguration, since that's the most hurtful thing to do to a narcissist: ignore them. We talked about anything else. We worked on a 3000 piece puzzle of the world; once that's solved everything else should be a breeze. Meanwhile I write letters and donate and try not to say his name, acid and bile in my mouth.
- So much of the American hot sauce I've been brought lately tastes more like an endurance test than a flavor. I don't know whether I've lost my taste for that particular pain or whether they've upped the hot to a point beyond me.
- When I was 20 I had my first published poem, and the editor had changed some of it. And I was as upset as if someone had pierced my baby's ears without asking me. I have submitted very few things for publication since, and last week I was reminded that that was a good decision.
- Oliver Sacks is so so so good.
- I really think we should be hibernating and I am trying to treat everybody as if they were small creatures recently jolted from hibernation, blinking tiny into the dim winter light, wondering what the hell just happened, wanting most of all in the world to go back to sleep. That's certainly how I feel. And I am so angry at being awake and not in my burrow or den or whatever, but I'm not the only one feeling this so I'm trying to remember to be kind even when I really want to give everybody who talks out of turn a big bite of rabies.
- I don't know why 5 is more satisfying than 4. 2+3 or fingers or avoiding death or who knows. It is, though.