A long day with a bright spot

Dear President Trump,

It’s only 6:30 in my usual time zone but it’s 9:30 here in DC and I’m exhausted. Because I’m traveling for the VA and had to have VA arrange my airline ticket, my flight this morning left at 6am, went to Portland for a 2 hour and 40 minute layover, and then on to DC. Usually I have more stamina, but the last 10 days has been so hard emotionally and I’m just not good at being away from home so much. I don’t know how people who travel all the time with no let up do it. I’m not cut out for it, for sure.

The bright spot in this long travel day was getting to hang out with my brother at the Portland airport for about an hour and a half. He works there on one of the ground crews. He was supposed to be off today and wasn’t sure he was up for getting to PDX at the crack of dawn on a day off, but he ended up being called into work so it worked out. We had breakfast and caught up and talked politics, as usual. Then he gave me a tour of the airport, showing me the trucks he drives, where they can and can’t go out on the tarmac, and where their home base for operations is. As we were going over all these different behind the scenes things I noticed that tucked down near the building at the edge of the tarmac was a pretty nice looking gas grill. When I asked him about it he said it was the mechanics’ and that the ground crew folks have an older one a little ways away. Although it was fun thinking about them getting to hang out grilling on breaks, the large containers of propane that were sitting on the ground right near where the planes come in made me kind of nervous.

The best part of the morning was watching my brother make the social rounds, checking in with people who’d come back from vacation and saying “hey” to a dozen others. I remember when we were kids it didn’t matter what part of town we were in, my brother always knew someone none of the rest of us knew. He just has a gift for connecting with people. It’s been a long time since I wrote to you about him and it was usually about my worries over his mental health issues or the racism he so frequently encounters. We touched on both those topics today, but mostly the focus was his work and how well things are going. It was really nice.

May we be safe to find our niches.
May we be happy to show off and to be shown.
May we make space for people to be their healthy selves.
May you not wage a war to distract and provoke your base.

Tracy Simpson

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