Last week, two friends and I went to the movies to see Beauty and the Beast, a charming childhood tale of bestiality and Stockholm Syndrome. (I still love you, Belle!) The cartoon version is the first movie I remember seeing in a theater, so it holds a special place in my heart. Also, in spite of the message it sends about how if you are kidnapped it’s actually pretty cool to fall in love with your captor, because then you will become a princess, and also how if your captor is a dangerous animal he is probably really a handsome prince with daddy issues, and also how Stranger Danger isn’t really a thing and you should invite crazy old women into your house the way I did when I was 11 (hey, just like the Beast!), and it happened to be a Jehovah’s Witness who tried to convert me, and when my parents came home my mom was like, “Why do you have this brochure about Jesus? What exactly did you do while we were gone?” (starting to realize this movie is actually very problematic)…it’s actually a pretty awesome movie. Just ask my brother, who had to listen to me play the theme in a loop two weeks ago.
We met the very charming ticket taker, who gave us each once overs, because he was all about inclusion.
“Wow,” he said, like he’d never seen anything with two X chromosomes before. “I’d take any one of you.” Lucky us!
He also hinted at a potential foursome, which was super tempting, but one of my friends is married, and also we had a movie to see. If only we hadn’t each shelled out $20 for the tickets. While we’re on the topic, when did movies get so expensive?
Unfortunately, by the time we left the theater Prince Charming was gone, so we weren’t able to take him up on his generous offer.
Yesterday, I stood in line at my polling place filling out my ballot. I didn’t wait for a private booth. I didn’t care who saw it. I live in Brooklyn. As I walked to work, I actually thought that maybe someday I would have a daughter, and I would tell her how I voted for the first female president.
Today, there was silence on the subway. One woman grasped a poll, a single tear running down her cheek. My office was half-empty, shrouded in an eery stillness.
I keep saying, “I can’t believe it.” And people keep telling me, “We live in a bubble. That’s why this happened.”
I don’t accept that. No, I don’t live in racistland. But the people who live there apparently weren’t willing to admit they voted for Trump either. I haven’t lived in New York for my whole life. I’ve lived in some very blue states, true. And now I live in a city that Trump calls home, too.
More than half of this country did not vote for a reality television star with no political experience. Does more than half the country live in a bubble?
I don’t just associate with people who agree with every word I have to say. I respect other opinions. But I’m very, very scared. I can’t respect opinions that value hatred of other cultures, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and so on. I don’t respect people who have been endorsed by the KKK and the NRA. I can’t.
So did Trump win because I was caught up in the bubble? Were the pollsters and forecasters caught up in the bubble, too? Is that why they predicted this wrong for the first time since Truman?
It’s not the bubble’s fault. The bubble did this right.
I was already having a bad day on Monday. Then there was a flash flood alert, and I, umbrella-less, braved the ten-minute walk to the train station. Quick shoutout to all those people who stared at me like I was a disgusting mess when I entered the station, because apparently the cause of my being drenched was perplexing.
On the way home the train stalled for a very long time. As every New Yorker knows, this is the worst thing that can possibly happen ever.
You know what definitely helped? That guy next to me who “muttered” louder than a yell, “Jesus fucking Christ. Goddamn worst train system EVER.”
It was really important that he said that, because otherwise I would have assumed that he, like the rest of us, was totally excited by the delay. I was really glad to know his feelings. And I’m sure the many children around were happy to learn some new words. The best part? His expression of feelings made the train start again!
(Well, not really, but I’m sure when the train eventually did start moving, it was because of him.)
The other day, I entered the subway station and a man was playing an erhu. No, I didn’t know what it was called before, and I’m not about to confess which search terms I entered to find out because they won’t make me sound very smart, but congratulations, now you know what it’s called, and I know you were wondering. Anyway, an erhu, a thing you now know about because you just Googled it, sounds deeply annoying. I walked a little further and discovered a trumpeter. You all know what a trumpet is, and how annoying it sounds. Can you imagine these two competing musicians occupying just one small station? Get your shit together, guys. Also the train was late, so I had to listen to an erhuist (yup, I made that word up)/trumpeter mashup and it was not okay.