Only in tragedy do I write to you. I could bemoan this fact due to its consequently happy infrequency or perhaps to the very reverse where this means that there is still too much, too fluid perforating sadness, but I cannot. On this day, on this complete failure of the world I had hoped for and trusted and in some way been entrusted to by the long-ago memory of hopeful kids just like me, I cannot sludge into poeticism. I am scared. I am terrified. And the election of Trump is a tragedy full and furious.
In light of its violent, gulping admittance, I know we will both hear many echoes of self-assured certainty. Drowning without concreteness, there are those who will grab on a razor’s edge for something to support them. How could it be anything else, it will be said, for Donald Trump represented the voice of the forgotten. He was the anti-establishment character, despite having invested in its schemes; he is a testament to the very nature of gritty success, despite being baked into it; he faced the media, his own institution, and people like myself who said no way, despite there always being one; he insulted, despite finding support; he loved, despite having desolated three wives; and he dominated, despite being a small, slinking snail.
I mean no offense to snails for I often imagined myself finding homes in their shells, but Trump is a manufacturing of fear that make those innocent creatures cower. Moving from Obama to him is like a lovely loft to a box broken outside, a man to a baby, a light to the shadows that suckle away the day. These same people will say the opposite of course. They will tell you to wait, to stretch the compassion that buoys you, to allow his denying, his brutality, and his horror to be nothing but the passing of shade, the occasional savagery needed to win wars.
Know, though, that this is horseshit. I cannot tell you what to do next, for I do not know and even if I did, I would not wish to suggest I was one of those pained people who do not know the unknown. But what I can say is that heavy heart you have is yours, and our, best hope. Because now that everything has been done to you, now that you don’t know what to feel, nothing more can be done and you can feel as you need. You can cry, and please do. You can throw up, and please wretch. You can turn to ooze, bubble through the cracks in your room, and wait for this, or maybe just you, to be over.
All of this is fine and good and necessary, but it is not enough. Only you are. Only you can be in world that isn’t.
Feeling sick at this moment means you still have health to lose, that there is still bits of you unstill, revolting, ready to destroy it all including yourself. In some misappropriated way, this is Trump’s greatest success: he has convinced the poor and miserable that he will solve their problems by removing others who are worthless, hideous, drooling things. This too is horseshit, but it cannot be forgotten. When there is the insistence that someone else is worse, it is a broken, dirty reflection on those who consider themselves better. When there are those without, no one has anything. And when one is told that there is nothing left, one must understand that they are, you are, and we are together. All of us remain untouched.
Please do not slump into unsettled sediment, into a hope not to be bothered and destroyed. You already are. Know it. Become it. And realize that after the loss of the lost, you will survive still and still be untouched.
Repeat this. Hands will have fumbled, nails will have bitten, entire mouths will have drooled onto your hair for lack of gel and their gums will be yours for lack of something to chew. But you will be, you will be, you will be. Untouched.
There will be awful times ahead, apocalypses wedged into roaring everyday where you will stub your toe in a shopping mall that is too big and too aggressively lit and too desperately starved of your eyes which are scabbed onto your toe, throbbing, thickening with the deadening day that bleeds wounded into tomorrow where you will amble to sleep, toe swollen and purple, thinking it will be better when you wake up. And even then, you will be, you will be, you will be. Untouched.
Now is not the time for exhaustion, though you may suffer it; it is not the time to worry, though you may still. What it is is the moment of your life to get mad, not made; to give your heart a break; to fight until you cannot anymore, and then fight some more.
Do not think, though, that this is an acceptance of the inevitability that no matter how much good there is, there will always be bad. Big, bumbling, boisterous bad. Rather, I write this all as a testament to your strength, to the very fires that are needed from you now, those that lighten this page, that compel me to write my fears in belief that you can have a hand in taking them away. With your kindness, with your belonging, with your indestructability.
I cannot wait to see the world you create in your new beginning. It is exciting to know that the next time I will write, it will be because the only tragedy that remains is that I have not written enough.
Until then, love,