I swore I would not write about this election. Everyone has already said everything and more. Some I agree with, some angers me, some saddens me. I suspect a majority of Americans have experienced similar reactions throughout this painful process, whomever they aligned themselves with.
I’m on my way to visit my parents. I find myself standing at the airport kiosk waiting to buy some aspirin for this migraine that just won’t quit. And the cashier is all jovial. He asks me if I voted for Trump. I’m a little put off by this invasion into my travel bubble but I reply. He says he is asking everyone because he wants to know why people who didn’t vote for Trump are so upset that he is now our president-elect.
And there it is. This young man, whose skin is darker than mine, is looking at me with a giant smile on his face, having no idea that his search for answers has ripped my soul open just a bit more than it already was.
“It’s not like he’s a terrorist or anything,” he says. “Why do people think he is going to be so terrible”?
I stare for a beat, hand him my card and clench my teeth. I cannot engage. I cannot explain to this fellow citizen that his not-so-terrible, soon-to-be-president scares the crap out of me. That he embodies every sociopath I have encountered in my longer time on earth. That his voice, sneer, smile, gestures and words trigger that survival instinct in me to run far, far away. That he has the very real potential to send the free world into a giant abyss.
I sign the receipt and silently stuff the aspirin in my purse and drag my suitcase away. I am heavy. Waiting to board I wonder if I should have tried to explain all of this to the bubbly cattle prod at the kiosk.
Maybe someday I will be able to stare across a glass-topped counter and share all of my hurt and fear with some stranger like him. Not yet.