I accidentally made the most delicious oatmeal: almond milk and blueberry preserves.
I don’t know how to feel today. I feel despondent and sad. Grieving like only once before. I feel silly for feeling so emotional. I feel smart for worrying. I am trying to be positive. Trying to be hopeful. Trying to think of all the people I love who voted this way and trying to remember that they helped make me and they are good and we are good and things will be good. Maybe. Trying to quiet the other voice in my head that says, what if they reap what they sow? What if it’s worse than you could ever expect?
The mood quickly deteriorated in our house last night. People began leaving one-by-one. On the verge of distress. Ready to go to bed and hope that all would be right in the morning. My ease dissipated. I switched from beer to water. I took ibuprofen for the smoldering ache in my head and joints. I ate an apple. After Ohio and North Carolina I completely lost it. Walking out onto the porch with my housemates to pull from their cigarettes. Breathing in the cold night air to clear whatever was trying to settle in my heart. Reg wanted to cry. Ben was smiling, stoic. I told them, “It’s not the end of the world. I’m just sad.” Reg said, “It’s not him. It’s who he’ll appoint.” I said, “That’s what I’m saying.” Ben said, “You can’t predict his presidential policies.”
I nodded my head. Ben went inside. Reg finished his cigarette.
I recycled the beer bottles and took out the trash and put the plates covered in egg roll sauce into the dishwasher. I moved the baby couch back to its disgraceful rightful place in the corner. I washed the knife and the cutting board Ben had used to slice his kimchi quesadillas. I drank 2 glasses of water. Ben said, “Thank you.” I sat on the floor in front of the window seat, trying to give PBS my full attention as we kept waiting…waiting for what? I was waiting for Wisconsin. I stopped. I walked up the stairs to bed.
I woke up this morning and the sun was shining on the frost and I felt a little better. I went downstairs. Reg was at his usual table laptop seat. Ben was putting on his jacket and already ready to go. “My mom text me, ‘hahaha, I vote Tr***.'” Reg and I laughed. Ben, “I’m glad you find it funny.”
No, but I have to laugh. What else is there to do but laugh. Reg, “I’m laughing so I don’t cry.”
I went outside to move my car for Ben. For once I was last in the driveway, but of course, this was not the day I wanted to be first to leave. I got in my car, started the engine. I realized all the windows were covered in a thin layer of frost. I tried to use my windshield wipers to scrape off the front. They did nothing. I looked out the driver’s side window up to the porch. Reg was smoking. He looked over at me. I slumped in my seat and exhaled–was overcome by the frost on my car windows. Reg dropped his posture in response. We sat for a moment, in the morning light, in this new day. The first generation Korean American and the Hispanic white girl from Arizona. What the fuck is going to happen.
I left the car running. I did not have the energy to brush the windows, no matter how light the frost layers. I went back inside to boil oatmeal over the stove. Ben tried to ask about it. “Your car is running? You’re making oatmeal?” I couldn’t form words, couldn’t process the reason. I went back outside to my slightly less frosty car, and pulled it out into the street. My tire pressure gauge light blinked up at me. Ugh, fine.
Ben left for work and Reg went upstairs to finish his morning ritual. My oatmeal bubbled up nicely, and I dropped it into the Tupperware to package it for work. I tried a bite of it, hot and plain. My lips closed over the spoon and I lost it. I started heaving confused, heartbroken tears. I pressed my elbows onto our fake granite countertop. What the fuck is going to happen.
I composed myself. Reg came down. We talked about how awesome Ben’s mom sounded. Reg, “My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone.” I laughed too loudly. Covered up my teary face. Tried to feel the way I always feel…
I was walking from my car to my office. I heard and then saw Sarah approaching. Her office is closer to the parking lot. We hugged, and for a moment I felt, okay. But then we started talking and I didn’t know what to say. And she couldn’t say the right things. And I walked away, defeated. What the fuck is going to happen.
I want to leave. I want to go back to bed and view the world from my window, where it is beautiful and peaceful and everything is fine. I think of southern Illinois and my soon-to-be Thanksgiving dinner with my relatives. The ones who will have opinions and the ones who will be relieved and the ones who will be angry. I try to think about how I will talk to my cousin, my sister, my nephew. I try to remember that the world is big and life is long. This is not the point.
I will answer emails today and I will smile and nod my head at the right times. I will run in the dark and I will feel maybe differently when I get home this evening. I’ve never felt such a need to reach out and grab someone. To pull them in and say, what the fuck is going to happen. I know you don’t know. I know you feel it too. I know we will be okay. I think I might cry just one more time.