I know most of you who visit here probably feel the same way about the cast of freaks that Drumpf is assembling as his Cabinet. I don't know about ya'll, but I fall hard to sleep each night after reading a bit more of a novel (reading is my only constant and even in times of extreme stress, I can read a damn novel), and when I wake up I'm generally in a positive mood (this, even though I am generally also wakened by Sophie having a seizure) as long as it's daylight. These days, though, since the Buffoon was elected by the Buffoonizens, it takes about one minute and sometimes less, for me to remember. At first it's a vague thread of something, what is it again, and then it's Oh, yeah and then it's confirmed by some godawful new story of dark-houred tweets with a hostile foreign country or a thin-skinned response to being mocked on a television show or the appointment of a confirmed racist as the chief lawyer or a climate change denier in charge of the environment or a creationist in charge of education. Throw in the bottle blondes and the Stepford wife and daughter, and then the nightmare that is the day begins, again.
Let's change the subject for a moment.
I've never been very good at building things or dealing with the spatial. I get lost, literally, every single time I park my car in a parking lot, and at least once or twice a day if I'm traveling anywhere other than, let's say, ten square miles.
When I took an aptitude test back in the dark ages of the last millennium, when I was still in my teens, I scored off the charts for a test called Ideaphoria, where you had to write as much as you could about anything in five or so minutes. Granted, I was probably doing something similar to here which is allowing my brain to just meander and wander and muse and peruse, my fingers quick at the keys. I am made of words, I guess. Back then, when I was asked to put together in my mind geometric figures using as guide these one-dimensional drawings with dotted lines for folds -- well -- I could not do even one. I stared at those things with my tiny little mother mind™ to be and just watched them, floating in the universe. What fresh hell was it?
I remember these things periodically, as well as how bad I am at sports, when I watch my sons. Where did these creatures come from? I think, more often than not. I used to call Henry the Lego Genius because of his uncanny ability to put together complex sets with only the most cursory check of the directions. Since Oliver is severely dyslexic, he never looks at signs or reads directions, much less books, yet is able to navigate his way through any city after being in it for half an hour. I'm not kidding. He's been doing this since he was about two years old. It'd be creepy if it weren't perfect for someone like me who turns left when I'm supposed to go right, every time.
I saw one of those Christmas trees made from books the other day on the internets and decided that I wanted to do it. I thought it might cheer me up from the Drumpfian nightmare and at the very least distract me. I gathered about 100 books of various sizes and thicknesses and piled them on the dining room floor. Then I watched the video about five hundred times and made about three hundred attempts to construct even the first layer. I'm actually pretty patient, even when I get lost or become very confused.
HENRY and OLIVER! I screamed.
They were back in their room playing some godforsaken video game with incredible skill, I'm sure, but they obliged me and came into the dining room. After expressing incredulity and scorn for what I was doing, their general default, they decided to humor me. Henry got down on the floor and began building the tree without even looking at the internets, while his brother criticized him and cracked jokes.
Whenever I attempted to place a book on the growing tree, I was admonished for not doing it right. What is wrong with you? Oliver asked me, more than once, and I admonished him for being disrespectful of his old mama.
Save the pretty Penguins for the top! I cried at some point and directed Henry to place the beloved novels in front and the books about cars and magical places that I'll never visit to the back.
When Henry got to placing The Idiot on the pile, he expressed disbelief that this was really the title of a book. I expressed disbelief that he'd never heard of Dostoyevsky despite being in school for the last fifteen years, including a semester of Advanced Placement Literature. Not to mention that I carried him inside of my uterus for 42 weeks, after which he was pulled from me, nursed for fourteen weeks from my body and then was cared for every single day for the next eighteen years. He rolled his eyes at me and then said, Look, Oliver, it's a book about you.
Good thing he's so good-looking.
I might not be able to find my way to my car or even your house, and I'm also having a hard time figuring out how to navigate the fact that despite grabbing women's pussies (that might be the first time I've typed out that word) and mocking a disabled person, Drumpf is the leader of the free world. God, I've always hated that expression.
I sure have read a lot of books, though, and I remember every single one of them. I realize that that doesn't make one whit of difference in the world at this point except for in a tiny subset of the general population. It feels somewhat familiar as I can remember that being smart or intellectual was entirely uncool during middle school at the hoity toity prep school I attended in Atlanta, Georgia. It was much better to be pretty and rich than to have your crooked nose with rose-tinted glasses perched on them, buried in Great Expectations. If I close my eyes, I can be right back there, and now I don't even have to close my eyes. I'm pretty certain that most of those classmates, with the exception of a few, are thrilled to finally have a president who won't come for their guns or rip babies out of their wives' wombs. That we have a racist for Attorney General, a climate change denier for the environment, an orthopedic surgeon for Health and Human Services who hates the Affordable Care Act and loves the private insurance industry, a billionaire who doesn't give a shit about public schools for education and now, a neurosurgeon to handle housing and urban development -- well -- what more is there to say? If there's any human I distrust more than a neurosurgeon, it's an evangelical neurosurgeon. As I told my friend C who was lamenting the latest white cop getting off after shooting an unarmed black man in the back, it's not going to get better, and it's probably going to get worse. I suggested that the racist attorney general could instruct his law enforcement to sprinkle crack on felled dead black men, after which the evangelical neurosurgeon could remove their brains in some deserted housing project that he's emptied and give them to the orthopedic health and human services dude to run research on white exceptionalism for Drumpf and his chief strategist.
Shit. Where was I?
At one point, after checking my phone for news and feeling the lurch, again, of nightmare, I grabbed my yellowed old copy of Allen Ginsberg's The Fall of America before it got buried under the pretty Penguin classics. I made sure that Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass were front and center. Ginsberg went on the top. I can almost hear the cries of the death of Christmas, can't you?