Thursday, November 4

You have your whole life to do something, and that's not very long

Now is not a time for silence. I know that, but I don’t know what to say or write or even feel at this point. The presidential election was disappointing, to say the least. The cynic in me wants to throw up my hands in disgust, say people are stupid, bury my head in the sand for another four years, and hope against hope that I have a few civil liberties and basic freedoms left when I look up in 2008. The rest of me just feels hurt. Like everything I thought was true about my country was wrong. Like I’ve been living in a fantasy world where people don’t hate me. I just don’t understand. Any of it. Bush, yeah, but even more importantly, I don’t understand 11 states voting to deny people their rights. I don’t understand people leaving their homes to go stand up in public and say, I don’t think you deserve equality. I don’t think you deserve recognition. I don’t think you deserve respect. I’m taking it all so personally, I may never leave Massachusetts again.

I think the fact that Ohio was right in the middle of the fray is part of why it feels personal. Driving home the other night, I kept thinking about my home state, and how much I've always loved it, even when I didn't like it. I love the way the corn fields roll in the wind. I love the lazy rivers and the little creeks that seem to be everywhere. I love red creme soda and Skyline chili and sweet corn. I love that the aisle markers at Kroger’s say “Pop.” I love the way the voices get flatter as you go farther north, and the way they pick up a little bit o’ Kentucky twang as you travel south. I love the swine barn at the State Fair. I love that we carve animals out of butter and we fry everything and put it on a stick. I love the factories, abandoned or working. I love the people, and all our funny fucked-up ways that mark us as Ohioans. I guess that’s it: I don’t feel like an Ohioan right now. I almost don’t feel American. I just feel sad. And lost.

No comments: