Taking to the streets for New York City’s Trump protests.
On Sunday evening, after four days of involuntarily clenching so badly that my jaw had started to ache too much to fully open, I dosed myself with painkillers and melatonin and finally got a full night of sleep. No bad dreams, only blackness. New York City has hummed with tension since the election—most people I know feel as though we’re in a nightmare we can’t wake from. The best I’ve been able to do so far is start at square one every day when I get up: turn on the kettle, read the headlines, jot a sentence in my diary, and remember to take a jacket on my way out the door.
The protests that have roared up Fifth Avenue frightened me when they began last Wednesday evening; the pictures I saw on Twitter and Instagram captured a version of a city too unwieldy for me to comprehend. I flipped through countless posts of protesters’ faces, indistinct except for their anger. Their crudely made signs were chilling in their simplicity: FUCK TRUMP. I appreciated my peers’ passion and readiness to action, but I was still too numb to be moved. What was the point? Trump won the election fairly. Weren’t we flouting President Obama’s call to “go forward with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens”? Weren’t we behaving like the faceless mob we’d spent this entire campaign decrying? These, and many other questions, rattled me. So on Saturday morning, I did what I am inclined to do when I don’t understand something: I grabbed a notebook and headed for the crowds. Read More