Today I found myself weeping in the bread aisle.
In the bread aisle, and the wine aisle, and while examining the eggs in their carton. I felt myself choking as I held it together through the bagging of the items, and the weeping subsequently resumed itself as the elevator doors closed in front of me. It was a blurry walk back home.
Today was fine, mind you.
I went to work. I worked out. I read Coates.
Maybe it was the rush of endorphins worked up on the treadmill. Maybe it was the grief of another massacre. Maybe it is my near constant ingestion of news, in my desperate desire not to be caught unawares by my home again. My need to keep eyes on and understand a presidency so openly embraced by white supremacy. Maybe it was the weight of Coates’s clarity and understanding of our shared country. His pragmatic yet lyrical approach to laying bare the racial underpinnings of the tragedies we are witnessing day-to-day is comforting. He can see it too. I am not insane.
I am not insane and yet here I am weeping over sourdough and too expensive organic eggs.
I avoid pictures of and stories about the Obama’s. I’ve never pined over an ex. This must be what it feels like.
I want to be hopeful. I am not, by nature an optimist. I consider myself a realist. I want desperately to believe we can recreate that shining moment of absolute hope we produced in 2008 again and keep going from there. I want so badly to hand off a country to the next generation, that has learned from its history, and not one that is trapped by it. Instead I cannot help but fear that we have taken the barrel of history’s gun and placed it in our mouths. We are staring at nuclear conflict, incited by a man who could not believe that the first Black president was an American. We are addicted to our poisons. White supremacy, racism, the very idea of Whiteness. We cannot put that bottle down. It is comforting and seductive to many. A warm embrace from a mythology that is devouring us from within.
There is no room for screaming in polite society.
The tears taste like the wailing of generations, weighty and imprisoned in your throat.