This week I ordered a bunch of these collapsible water containers. Like, just in case. In case what, Mr. A asked me, and I had no answer. Like, in case of a global pandemic causing widespread disruption that might eventually affect the water supply? It seemed like a better idea than bottles and bottles, and my back’s too weak to carry crates of them. So, basically humongous baggies, to be safe.
There are cans of beans and tomatoes and a freezer full of food. I bought a duck from the local meat guy. I’ve never cooked a duck ever even once but there it is, in case of a … duck emergency? This morning’s Google search was “can you bake the Halloween pumpkin I hate wasting food my grandmother’s ghost will come back and berate me if I just smash it in the street.” I’ve made so much fucking soup.
Kick and I are reading the Little House books and they’re making me want to seal up the cracks in the walls, bank straw against the foundation. Pile every quilt on every bed, even the one in the empty guest room. We have a quarter cord of firewood for our small firepit; is that enough? Do we need more?
And then what? We wait? That’s not how you stay safe. It’s not how you stay alive. The point of a storeroom is to have enough to share. There’s no such thing as safe. There never is.
I’m sure there are going to be plenty of stories about how arrogant angry liberals like me need to take a lesson from this and JUST ONE MORE TIME be nicer to the angry racists who hate us. I’m sure there are going to be lots and lots and lots of thinkpieces about how if I would just not be so … me, and mine would not be so mine, and we would all shut up about being ourselves and needing things like fundamental rights, and listen silently while we are insulted, then we would finally be gifted with what has never been freely bestowed in all of human history.
This administration knew its people and their uses. They elected this president. They chanted “lugenpresse” and “fake news” at reporters. They put them in cages, too, and spit at them and yelled and threatened. They beat protesters and chanted “lock her up.” They longed to inflict human misery, gleefully, on anyone they were told had taken from them, on anyone they were told would take from them. And this administration saw that and said that it was good. It said yes. It said more.
So much has happened in the last week, the last month that’s horrible, in the last two months, the last six, that maybe we forgot about the first three and three quarter years, about everything before “fuck it, let everybody die” became law of the land. So let me recap for you, the poison poured into this country’s veins: The kids in the cages, the Muslim ban, the corruption, the collusion, the pettiness, the greed, and every single day just making a shitstorm out of nothing because they didn’t care to know better or ask anyone how to do stuff. Two years ago the dubious Supreme Court nominee was a rapey alcoholic, like COME ON.
Can we even bank the fires after they’ve been out this long? What we need is so miniscule; not even advantages, just relief. We are so hungry for decency we will lick it off of knives.
And it wasn’t until very, very recently that we began to have hope again. Is it any wonder we flinch from it like a bright light after our eyes have adjusted to the darkness? How much of our fear is reasonable, protecting ourselves, and how much is simple cowardice? How much of the storeroom will feed others, and can we unclench our fists long enough to hold out our hands?
I wish I had exhortations, directions, recipes even. I understand in a way I never have the power of the only prayer that exists: Please. Please. Please. I don’t have any answers, for any of you, today. Fight them til we can’t, I said four years ago, and today’s another day to fight with. If you can’t, it’s okay. I’ve got enough flour to bake bread for us both.