by Teresa Leggard
19 January 2017
This marks the last day that Barak Obama is president of the United States of
America. I do not feel well. I will not yet go so far as to say that the impending
inauguration is making me sick. I feel sad, uneasy, and responsible.
Resist. Fight so hard that there is no time or room for fear.
20 January 2017
Woke to a voicemail:
The best retaliation against an oligarchic, fascist regime like the one we’re entering
now . . . educate; don’t medicate; get clean; get smart . . . Resist.
On this auspicious day in 2008, I was working with a different team, on a different
floor. In a large common room with sparse, bright furniture and concrete floors, a
television was tuned in to live coverage in Washington, DC. It was so cold. I
remember seeing red noses on the screen, eyes wet from wind chill and raw feeling.
I sat there, maybe the only brown person in the room at the time, and I felt my skin
gave me a kinship with the new commander-in- chief. In my mind this kinship made
me closer to him than any other American in that room watching with me. I was
hopeful that after having the 2004 election stolen in broad daylight—like being
stuck-up at an ATM—the country had a leader we actually endorsed.
21 January 2017
Today validated my decision to seek out a woman of color as my therapist. More
than half the session was about—I’m still working up to using the name. I told her
that in addition to my regular concerns, I’m now thinking about expediting my
passport application (I’m kicking myself for ever letting it expire in the first place);
what I have in liquid assets on any given day; how quickly I can get to my family and
should I just move back to be near them; how much can I afford to pay out-of- pocket
for health insurance. I told her I’ve started learning self-defense.
I was verbally harassed while walking to my car. And sure, it could have been any
Wednesday. And sure, these two vagrants probably were drunk any day of the week,
but the alignment of it all—on top of reports of increased numbers of hate
crimes—was too much not to take notice.
I stood talking to some classmates the Saturday after the election. One said his
consolation to his students, many of who were immigrants, was that American
politics goes in waves and sooner or later this current wretched state would pass.
“The trick is,” I tell him, “you have to survive at least the next 4 years.”
Teresa Leggard is a New York-born, Jersey-raised, Midwest transplant. She’s a writer, editor, poet, playwright, and recovering procrastinator. You can’t really find her online except for here and the occasional tweet at @LeggardTM, but if you’re in Kansas City she might be at The Writers Place (http://www.writersplace.org). One day she's determined to find out "Where Brooklyn at?"