I got up early to work and then right away thought I’d better check to see if we’d bombed somebody or been bombed. It’s remarkable how fast this has become a reflex.
The bizarre becomes mundane.
I know how this works. Anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship or had a family member with serious mental illness knows how this works. At first, a terrible incident is shocking, then it is disturbing, then it is problematic, and then it is a bump in the road on the way to the corner liquor store.
Once, my boyfriend of several years threatened to jump out of the 7th floor window of my office. I asked him not to and then I went down the hall to a meeting. Oh, I still cared, even after years of threats and attempts, but I had become immune. Rather than being worn down by outrageous events, my skin was thick, callused like a man who works all day lining up steel bits to carve through lead pipes.
That’s how I feel about Donald Trump and his perverse gang of amateur idiots and it’s only been six months.
The day after the inauguration I walked in the San Diego Women’s March with my husband and daughter. For blocks, I held a poster of a Muslim woman over my head that read “We the people” on the bottom. Midway through the route, a flock of maids at a downtown hotel leaned out the windows and cheered for us. Everywhere I looked, good people were rising up. My little four year old grandson carried his own sign on a stick. The good people will prevail, I decided. We just need to stay angry and strong.
But then the endlessness started. Day after day of egregiousness, offenses large and small, insults to heads of state and earnest little boy scouts. I started a group with friends to be part of the resistance; it was meant to be a long and noble demonstration of the power of right-thinking people but it soon became theater for our own entertainment. Everything had an urgency to it; calls that had to be made this very second, letters sent sooner. Pretty soon, there was a core of local people who would turn out every Monday to protest at our Senator’s office; it reminded me of the Ban the Bomb people who picketed the federal courthouse every Saturday for decades. That apparently didn’t work either.
I’m depressed by all this and fed up. I figured I would stay mad longer than this.
If I feel this way, millions do. A sea of people who will just ask the guy in their office not to jump out the window and then go to their meeting. That can’t be good.