Caring is risky and hard

Dear President Trump,

It’s one of those Sunday evenings when it feels like I’ve been up for two days straight. I slept in until 8 this morning and got plenty of sleep so it’s really not an exhaustion that makes logical sense, but it’s real. My feet hurt and that “please don’t look at me wrong or I’ll burst into tears” feeling has settled in. My guess is that both my feet and my heart will feel better in the morning after some rest. I hope so.

Part of it is just the fact of Sunday and knowing the weekend is over and we are all back at it full on tomorrow. I’m hoping maybe this week will be a little better than usual since you’re on vacation and won’t be devoting your full attention to tearing apart the country and shitting on the rest of the world. Knowing you, though, you’ll find ways to do your nasty in between rounds of golf and pieces of fabulous chocolate cake.

I think the bigger part of my exhaustion, though, is from having spent much of the afternoon feeling worried about Laura. When I got home from church around 12:15 she was outside waiting because she was getting ready to drive down to Tacoma to join up with a bunch of people who were staging a counter-demonstration protesting the presence of the Proud Boys (I hate giving their name weight with the capital P and B, but in order to make clear who/what they were dealing with, I need to go ahead with this punctuation). She wanted to tell me where she was going in person before taking off, which I appreciated, but she was in a rush because the thing was starting at 1:00 and the drive down there isn’t trivial.

I asked her to keep me updated, which she did. She let me know she was ok a good handful of times, but it wasn’t really very reassuring because it was abundantly clear it was very, very tense down there. In one of her texts she told me there was an altercation between a PB and an Antifa person where the former put the latter in a headlock and they backed into Laura and nearly knocked her down such that she in turn knocked into someone else. There was also a lot of yelling –the PB’s and the Antifas at each other, the Anifias at the police, concerned Tacoma citizens (and Laura) and the PB’s at each other. She also sent pictures – PB’s waving huge American flags, bright red MAGA backpacks and hats, people holding signs. Then there was the one of some guy who had a leg holster complete with a semi-automatic pistol (taken from behind him). That definitely didn’t help my anxiety.

When she got home, Laura said she didn’t feel in any danger and she would go to such a thing again, but I was a bit of wreck waiting for the next text and dreading the next text all at the same time. It was sort of crazy making even though I knew the odds were that she’d be fine, but angry people with guns and testosterone make me very nervous.

Plus I felt bad not going with her. She clearly didn’t want me to go as she was ready to hop in the car the instant I got home and there was no way I was going to turn right around and take off for such a thing with no warning like that. But still. If something had happened to her and I wasn’t there….

May we be safe.
May we be willing to care about each other and our democracy even though caring is risky and hard.
May we use our health and strength for the greater good.
May we arrive at a peace that does not include neo-Nazis, white supremacists, or sick leaders.

Tracy Simpson

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