November 10, 2016

I can’t . . .



I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t BELIEVE he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I can’t believe he won.  I cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot cannot cannot cannotcannotcannot cannot believe he won.

I can’t believe it.

I can’t believe it.

I can’t believe it.

I went to bed at about 5 am stunned and staggered and wretched with what was obviously happening in America, watching the states turn red and the little lines crawling toward ‘win’, Hillary’s much too slowly and Donald’s much too fast. When I finally got up again very late in the morning I did not race to my computer or turn on the radio because I didn’t want to hear it.  As long as I didn’t know it officially maybe it hadn’t happened.  But I had a day’s appointments to confirm and when I turned Pooka on and hit the text button, the condolences and expressions of horror and despair scrolled well past what I could read on the opening screen.

I can’t believe he won. I can’t believe it. I’m wearing all black for the death of my country.  My ex-country.  I don’t want to be an American any more.  If Brexit throws me out of England I’m moving to Australia.  I want to lose this accent.  I don’t want to sound like an American.  I don’t want to be identifiable as a member of the country that voted Donald Trump into the White House, even if I’m not one of the guilty.  I remember the heady rush after Obama was voted in the first time—that after cringing through the George Dubya era as an American in England it was okay to be an American—it was something to be proud of, being an American, where we’d just voted in an intelligent man with principles and ideals and oh-by-the-way his dad was a black Kenyan and his wife could punch her own weight as a career woman and his partner.

I can’t believe Donald Trump got anywhere near the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency.  I kept waiting for someone to pull it together to push back.

I’m an on-line GUARDIAN subscriber, and I hope there are enough of us to keep the GUARDIAN going. This arrived in our inboxes today from Katherine Viner, the editor-in-chief:

It was a terrible night for women, for Muslims, for Hispanic Americans, for people who believe climate change is a real and present danger, for people who believe women have a right to abortion, for men and women who object to sexual harassment of the most brutal and obvious kind, for disabled people, for black people, for Jewish people, for gay people, for progressives, for liberals, for people who believe Barack Obama was born in the USA, for a free and independent media working in the public interest.

There’s no doubt that the election of Donald Trump as US president is one of the biggest events of our lifetimes, and like the outcome of the Brexit referendum, could be one of the most important stories in the history of the Guardian. Our [people] in the US and around the world have been working round-the-clock to bring you the fastest updates, engaged reporting and video, deep analysis and thoughtful commentary. We will redouble these efforts in the coming weeks and months. We want to understand why America voted for Donald Trump, and hold him to account for his words and actions.

What she said.

However. With caveats.  There will be no forum thread for this post.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I wouldn’t expect there to be a lot of Trump voters reading this blog but if there are any I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know. Please do not, as has happened before when I’ve explicitly said that I don’t want to discuss something, rush to explain, because if only I’d listen to you . . . I’m not going to listen to any excuses for voting for Donald Trump.  Full stop.  If you email me I’ll delete you.  I’ll be reading TIME magazine and the GUARDIAN—yes, I’m a wet liberal, so what else is new?—for all they can tell me about the potential global catastrophe that is Donald Trump in the White House, but I want my information at barge-pole-length distance, with journalists doing the dirty work.

And of all the possible reasons for ending a long blog silence, this has got to be one of the worst. But I couldn’t not say that I’m utterly, utterly, utterly shaken and shocked and appalled.  And to say to all you other Hillary-ites out there, oh, God, I’m so sorry. Hands across the water, tears of blood, etc.  Hannah and I have been texting all day—I mean all day, starting at 2 am GMT.

Knitting has become such a refuge for me—even if, when things feel painfully worse than usual, like now, I keep having flashbacks to knitting at Peter’s bedside. And [insert banner-waving here] I finished something for one of these Christmas charities that give hand-made stuff to poor kiddies.  And so today—when I’m not texting Hannah again—I keep defaulting helplessly to um, wait, what can I KNIT to make it better?  Then my mind goes blank and I look wistfully at my empty, twitching hands.  However the hellmob is always happy to go for another hurtle, and since I sing a lot of mournful songs anyway I’m not sure they notice that I’m sounding even more dirge-like than normal today.

I have a half-done post from . . . yonks and eras ago. Before—oh, let’s see—visitors, bronchitis, visitors, food poisoning and visitors.  And how when what there is left of my hair post-menopause started falling out in handfuls, my fingernails were breaking past the quick, and my legs went all funny, that I realised that possibly I had taken the detox thing too far.  And?  I’m no longer a vegetarian.  Sigh.  I should have recognised the warning signs—I’ve crashed and burned as a semi-vegan twice before;  third time is not the charm—but it’s so easy to blame everything on the ME.  As a slavering carnivore my energy levels are picking up again nicely, thank you.  My fingernails need cutting again and my hair is starting to grow back in, although whether it grows back in enough remains to be seen.  And as I’ve said several times during this gruesome and miserable year, I have no intention of giving the blog up, I’m just having a few interim motivational problems.

I can’t believe he won.


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