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Nasty weather

February 27, 2017

Nasty weather, said the driver, and she agreed it was bad.

I hope you’re able to stay dry out there tonight, he said. It’s one of those nights I’m glad I can’t leave the car.

He was a black man driving a car in the rain, and she was a white woman on her way to a wine bar. She didn’t want to think about what this all meant. She had things she liked and things she didn’t. She didn’t want to think about what happened if the man had to exit his vehicle.

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About which I’m writing

February 26, 2017

What are you writing about? he asked.

Right now? Pretty much just my high level of anxiety about the current presidential administration, I replied.

Really? he said. You should step away from that. Take a day off.

I had been trying to do that, but how does one avoid the scales on their eyes? How does one stop looking at the spotlit grimace in the dark room?

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Between storms

February 25, 2017

Even between storms, there are sunny days when we can find a place to sit alone for a minute, or with our families, or our friends, and say, rest. It’s time to fill a glass with just-squeezed juice, to open the jar of jam made on a hot summer day, to spread it thickly with butter on home-baked bread. It’s time to bask in the warm light, curled up in a chair with a book, or just staring off at the horizon without seeking a solution.

Gather energy when the opportunity arises, friends. The clouds surround us.

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Your kind

February 24, 2017

Delete your phone before you travel, he said. I’ve heard they’re checking them at the border.

Why should they care about my phone? she asked. I’m not who they’re looking for.

Sure, he said. You’re not the person they’re looking for now, but what about when they run out of those people? At some point, your kind comes on the list.

She had not needed to think about her kind before, but she could imagine herself in a lineup with certain people. She could see how she might be passed over in the search for someone to take away.

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Stapler creative

February 23, 2017

Do you have your stapler? I asked.

I am nothing if not creative, she replied.

We were only calling to talk about our weekend plans, but in this new world, even those needed encryption. We didn’t want someone following us to our local watering hole. We did not want to hand over our phones, our identification, our passports, our identities.

So, like spies, we exchanged authentications, assuring each other, for the moment, that we were safe, that our conversation was our own, that we had done everything we could to make sure nothing happened to us along the way.

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On the track

February 22, 2017

There are those, I know, who fought battles and lost for years before now, and who were already tired before the talk of walls and repeal and replace and fake news and bans. There are those who were bone-tired before we ever got to this.

This is no relay race. Entering this track means continuing, no matter how tired our legs, no matter how raw our lungs.

I may not have been here soon enough, but I am here now, and I will stay alongside you who have run on for a long time until I cannot run anymore.

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Police state

February 21, 2017

From the window high above Oakland, I saw helicopters hovering over the part of town where people gathered for the women’s march. Then, I noticed a small plane making a wide turn where the city met the estuary, and I watched it make a low, lazy circle, curving back toward where I stood, then looping back down and around.

Surveillance plane, I told my father after its third go-round.

What do you think they’re looking for? he asked.

Maybe they’re jamming cellphones, I replied. It’s just part of the deal now. We live in a police state.