As I write this, I am sitting at my kitchen table in my terry bathrobe (aka my anti-productivity uniform) sipping coffee and musing at how wrong it has all gone since 2014.
Now when I say “all wrong” it is not to mean no strides have been made in the *gestures wildly* state of things. The “Squad” has been reelected and new faces will be joining them (looking at you, Missouri!). Marijuana and other personal drug offenses continues to be decriminalized, clearing a path to free unjustly incarcerated. The Senate holds. The Working Families Party stays in NY despite Cuomo’s best attempt to sneakily remove it. Establishment politicians on both sides are shaken by how close their races were, whether they won reelection or got a wake-up call of unemployment. While we had a record turnout voting in favor of white supremacy, the seeds have been planted. And wins such as in Arizona show that while it may take some time, it is possible to turn the tide.
No when I speak of wrong, I speak of the toll. Black women have endured sleepless nights, bodily harm, record unemployment, the brunt of the virus, a target placed by the “president” and an inconceivable last-minute push against them by their own men (hi, Ice Cube!). An almost immovable voting bloc tasked constantly with “saving” the nation, Black Women will undoubtedly receive some form of blame in the days to come.
I’ve been here before.
Burned out from measuring my level of concern in minutes spent on the screen and hours “tuned in” to intercept the propaganda of the day. Never in my life have I been this concerned with the daily movements of a president, more aware of where he is at any given time than I am my own mother. Waking up to do a quick check for the day’s outrage before I brush my teeth. Flittering from one fire to the other knowing my single extinguisher will never be enough. All while managing the personal burdens of the pandemic and a life held together by silly string.
As I write this, I am sitting at my kitchen table in my terry bathrobe (aka my anti-productivity uniform) sipping coffee and realizing this is not a life.
My current state of barreling through and figuring out the cost at the end is no longer sustainable, as this thing isn’t ending. I have not stopped for joy. I have not stopped to grieve. I have not stopped at all this year unless my body forced me to.
I planned a hard stop for election week, a reset of sorts. Seven days away from the daily slog right when the pull of it is strongest. My initial plans to write were slowed a bit by my brain’s inability to accept this as a time of rest. This is my first freewrite in months, and to be honest I am amazed words came out at all. Following this will be some carb comfort, a walk in nature, a mid-day check in of “what the fuck do you want to do right now” and my favorite tradition of dancing to “The Lazy Song” with a drink in hand to mark the beginning of a time off. The election will not give us any major updates today, and this is a long-haul that can afford my absence from it. If you are guessing, the last few sentences are for a me.
As of today the curtain has been ripped back on American exceptionalism and the people in denial have to contend with their feelings upon realizing that no, we are not “better than this” and yes, this is who we have always been.
As I write this, I am sitting at my kitchen table in my terry bathrobe (aka my anti-productivity uniform) sipping coffee and deciding today, that is not my problem. Catch me next week.