Drowning in a Sea of Orange

It’s been a surreal week.

Drumpf was inaugurated last Friday.

On Saturday morning, the women protested, and I was inspired.

On Saturday night, my sister and my friend and I threw a 90’s party, and for just a few hours we lived in a time period that I only remember with fondness and nostalgia. Everyone arrived dressed in ill-fitted 90’s attire, danced in the dark to all the cheesy sentiment and angst that 90’s music had to offer. I took pictures with a disposable camera, flicking the wheel after every shot. Then the party wound down and we packed up all the unhealthy snacks and cereal I used to eat as a child. We pulled the posters down from the walls, boxed up the Super Nintendo and the N64, lugged the heavy tube televisions outside and stripped the hall to its timeless state. I hated the idea of returning to the present.

I worked on Sunday, got my wits back together.

Then Monday happened.

Then Tuesday happened.

Last night I watched both hours of TYT while I cooked dinner, horrible story after horrible story making me uneasy. I’ve read and listened to enough analysis of what kind of spells the world would fall under with an orange man being president, but honestly, nothing really prepares you for awfulness until the awfulness actually happens. Being a Canadian, I’m not directly affected by the legislation that happens in the States, but the issues faced make waves up here, and every day I still worry about the kinds of things my American writer friends are posting.
I tried to unplug from social media after dinner. I did a little work on my novel, finally managed to give the opening some legs, but I still retired to bed early, still fell asleep uneasy.

This morning I woke up seriously considering unplugging for a while. My real problem is that I’ve become so reliant on the Internet that the idea of not accessing it is nearly impossible. So I got out of bed and checked my email, and there in my inbox was a forwarded message from a reader (and fellow writer, Renee James) who’d stumbled over my short story, “Tourist” in Gamut Magazine. I always love receiving feedback from readers, and I’ve found over the years that the best feedback I ever get is for “Tourist”, which is one of my only stories that has a reasonably happy ending. Reading some feedback on that story is always nice, but there was one particular quote from this email that hit me:

“In the end, I was relieved and gladdened, as if I’d been holding my breath for a long time and could finally fill my lungs with air, and my spirits were buoyant enough to perhaps survive another day of Donald Drumpf’s presidency.”

Now, I’m not saying that my story is specifically powerful, but it was more so the idea that a simple piece of writing could make somebody overcome the awfulness that was Tuesday, January 24th, 2017. That’s the power of art. That’s the power of a bit of positivity. There’s power in the smallest of things.

And I know that this is cheesy and so unlike me to say, but I’d at least like to make a better effort in these next four years to do more positive things, both online and off.

I know that people make an effort to be positive in their everyday lives (hello obsessive Pinterest quote board users!), but positivity is something that I (as a Canadian with many American writer friends who I’ve known for years but have never met in real life) can at least make an attempt to spread. By doing any little thing. ANYTHING. Not just with cat memes, but with honest thoughts and feelings. With words. With actions.

And maybe some crafts. Crafts are good too.

I’ve got something in the works.

More about Rebecca

Rebecca is a neo-noir author from Kamloops, British Columbia. Her first collection of gritty short fiction, Vile Men was published by Dark House Press in 2015. She also writes about her writer lifestyle on her personal blog at rebeccajoneshowe.com