On November 8th, 2016, I was getting drunk. The fat man on the TV screen was somehow winning the presidential election. The people had spoken - they would prefer an ex-reality star, a pussy grabber, a toupee-wearing billionaire over a woman president.
This past week marked the one year anniversary since I was an angry drunk and Donald Trump was elected president. He has said and done a lot of idiotic things and has pissed off quite a few americans. So, like any sad, snowflake liberal, I walked to Cheesman Park to scream along with others. An event on social media was created, titled “Scream Helplessly At the Sky on One Year Mark of the Election.” I figured since I live across the street from the park, I might as well attend.
Around thirty people huddled together in the pillars. I stayed back on the grass, just out of sights reach. I couldn’t tell you why - I just didn’t want to be caught up in the crowd of yelling humans. Exactly at 7 pm, the screaming occurred. It was actually impressive and a police car strolled up near me and asked what’s going on. “A protest of the election,” I said, kind of wishing the policeman would just leave. This was the civilians’ space tonight. He didn’t leave.
“Ya know what I hate about Trump,” yelled a middle-aged man and the crowd responded gleefully. His words drowned out but I heard “his sexism against women” and “fuck his healthcare.” The yelling came in bursts and waves over the course of 15 minutes. There was something about the communal, guttural noises that made me want to join in, as if it took me back to a previous, ancient life where we were dancing around fires, howling at the inky night sky.
Then, a counter protester entered the mix, yelling, “Trump didn’t actually assault anyone,” telling the humans “God still loves you.” There’s always one person who has to ruin the fun. In this scenario, it was two people - the counter protester and Trump. The crowd worked together to yell over him, but, of course, he had to be the human with the loudest voice. I began walking away, my indulgence into self-pity had been satisfied with the cries of vexation. I didn’t want one man to take away my right to feel heartache.
Sometimes, though, I feel incredibly tired. As the media continues to infiltrate all of our lives, as uncomfortable conversations get brought to the forefront, as our president tweets nuclear war threats and racist words, as transparency uncovers the inequality between women and men, one race to another —
I just want to lay down on my bed and stay huddled in my tiny apartment.
I’ll get up though, I’ll walk to the grassy park and scream at the sky, I’ll go to work and put in effort. I’ll call my mom and loved ones, tell them I’m doin’ fine and the world is still spinning. If I don’t and you don’t, the threats will become real.
There is a community, here, there are people who feel the weight of the chaotic rhetoric in our society, too. We are slowly and quietly working alongside one another in the arts, in politics, in the workforce to revert this rhetoric and once again create a society that welcomes everyone.
I won’t continue to stand to the side.
- Taylor Heussner