Wednesday, November 9th
The whole world is still unspeakable. My cell rings and I see it is Mark, my colleague. I hesitate. This will be the first post-travesty conversation. I pick up and say
There is an awkward silence.
“So,” Mark says, “are you studying for your (Austrian) citizenship test?”
It felt good to laugh.
Wednesday, November 9th (later)
I text my friend 2T – a fellow American living in Austria:
“How are you holding up?”
She answers, “Surprisingly well. I have accepted it. You?”
“In complete denial.”
30 seconds later, my cell rings.
Thursday, November 10th
I watch the news and tell my husband how much I wish I could join the protests. Go out into the streets.
“What would that help?” he asked.
It would help me. I could make a sign saying “I’m with the 75%!” or “#notmypresident” and go be with like-minded people. I could stop feeling despair and fear and start sending a message. It would empower me.
Friday, November 11th
My (Hungarian) cleaning lady arrives in the morning. I talk about how cold the weather is suddenly. She laughs and answers,
Saturday, November 12th
I finally reach my mom on Skype. She tells me a story about her visit to the doctor and a conversation with the receptionist there. This woman told my mom how Hillary had 100s of classified emails on her private server and that 1000s of people had died as a result.
“I didn’t even know what to say to her!” my mom said. “I just left.”
Sunday, November 13th
Invited to a family lunch, no one knows if or how to start the conversation. I put them out of their misery by bringing it up myself. One of my well-meaning relatives tries to console me by saying,
“And who knows? Maybe it won’t be that bad, maybe it will all turn out okay.”
Everyone in the room starts to laugh.
Monday, November 14th
I call my friend and fellow teacher to confirm our dinner plans for tomorrow. I haven’t seen him in ages. He says he has been stressed out non-stop since the school year started.
“Yeah, it was like that for me too,” I replied, “but now that the world is coming to an end, everything seems easier.”
We both laugh.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow.