As my night draws to a close, I shave thin slivers of Häagen Dazs coffee ice cream into a spoon, as my new/old subway clock ticks on the floor and a semi-familiar episode of Fargo plays on the TV. I pull the blanket, the one my mom tied together as I recovered in a hospital from jaw surgery, around me as the heater kicks on for the first time in my new apartment on a cold, rainy night. I try to remember if I have seen the episode playing out on the small TV, sitting atop a Walmart dining room chair purchased for an antique table, which eventually fell apart in an attic of a college town’s rental house. Warm fuzzy socks keep my toes from freezing on the cold green cement floor as I put the pint back into the bright white and near empty freezer as the end credits play for the episode that I am sure I had only seen the first half of when it originally aired, a lifetime ago.
I want something distracting and mindless on the TV as I write tonight, uncomfortably laying down on a futon that desperately needs to be tossed out in favor of a more comfortable couch. I want something distracting so I can sort through how I feel about everything that is going on. And, I do mean everything. An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation will suffice.
This afternoon, I took a picture of the overcast skies of New Mexico outside the doors of my school building. I took the picture knowing the Facebook post I would eventually write: “On rainy school days, I feel oddly nostalgic for the leaking walls and the flooding library basement of my previous school.” I peered out the rain-splattered glass doors of the school remembering the stream of Oklahoma red-dirt water dripping through the walls of the basement and snaking through the stairwell and into the darkness beneath the old school’s auditorium. I remember the classroom floors caving in. I remember leaving my classroom, almost every single day, feeling like I was failing my students, and now, knowing that I did. I remember.
Yet only a few minutes after I took the picture, I received a phone call from my stepmom telling me my father is on the way to the hospital. She quickly reassured me that he is doing okay and provided the details of what happened before I make my way to assisting with dismissal.
As I helped usher elementary students into the myriad of vehicles lined up, I felt numb.
I felt . . . I don’t know how to exactly put into words how I feel.
I feel scared and worried and angry and disappointed and upset and annoyed, and it is all rolled into a weird ball of conflicting emotions and logical fallacies.
These emotions swirl within me as I pushed my cart down the familiar aisles of the grocery store, once again deciding to avoid cooking, this time in favor of crunchy and spicy supermarket sushi rolls.
These emotions swirl within me as I made my way through episodes of television forgotten during my week of moving and skim through a poorly plotted Marvel comic.
As the night draws to a close, I scroll through my Twitter feed and watch a Holocaust survivor stand up and tell an ICE agent that they “will be on the wrong side of history.” And, I hope, I truly hope he is right because every night I go to sleep afraid for America and her citizens.
As the night draws to a close, I make my planned Facebook post and text my stepmom for reassurance that my father is doing okay. He is, and I hope that the reassurance will help to waylay some of my fears, while Jean-Luc Picard and the Romulans bicker onscreen.
As the night draws to a close, I still find myself asking, where do we go from here?