I was traveling so really our relationship depends on virtual waves. We keep in touch through notifications. Text messages about you from our common friends. The daily going-ons so I can pretend that, despite the time zones and distance, I am living real time everything you experience.
November 8, 2016. I went to bed that night while you were still awake. We went to bed not at peace. Somewhere in this day threads of unease stitched and held. You started saying things. Or may be this was finally the only way you could get me to listen.
So late. Why didn’t you say anything last summer? Why are you waiting until now to bring this up? Why does this have to be your grand stand? I thought communication was our strong suit. Wrong. Everything about us depended on communication. (Wasn’t I listening?) Or did you think it safer to say what I wanted to hear? (Or did I only hear what I thought best?) May be you thought I wouldn’t take it so well, if you honestly shared your doubts and concerns, these sentiments now leading hands and guiding pens to certain boxed ticks.
All this time. These past four years. The last eight. Has this just been us playing pretend, a society we just aren’t?
I went to bed my night - your day - troubled by your mutterings. America - we rarely go to bed fighting. Yet if I look back at the last few years - how many days have we ended heavy? You have been showing me glimpses of your underbelly. And now I am sewing all those moments and growing sick with realization. Because it is not one mishap or hiccup. It is a collection that forms an image, and in those worst moments, it was still you. I want to call you a bigot. Scream that you are a racist. Point to a map on the wall and pin it with colors to show those places and all people you have failed.
November 9, 2016. Early morning my time and finally you are asleep across the ocean. I am emotionally drained. My body heavy, soul intact. I cry in the middle of that apartment on a street I can’t remember in a neighborhood where I have no mark in a country that I have never cared to visit. I cry again in the shower. Once more, perhaps, before putting on my make up. Black dress ready, mourning attire. As I walk out and veer onto cobbled streets - all I can think about is the past. I remind myself: This happens. It has happened to countless other people, societies throughout history. This path that I am walking - the morning after political shock - this, too, was walked before. And then, too, an individual much like myself faced similar decisions. I have to revisit my currency - my value. My privilege is my protection. But there are others who will bear the fall out. And so I have to evaluate my blessings and their utility. There are decisions to make. There is a history to be made. There is much to be lived.
As for you, my country - love: have you failed me? No. Am I disappointed in you? So much. Can you be better? I hope. God bless.