Perhaps it’s the combination of jet lag and grief, but I am not recovering well from Trumpocalypse. I tried to put on a brave face with my gratitude list, but the truth is I’m horrified and I’ve lost a piece of my identity.
I often remark upon the fact that when living in South Africa, the first thing everyone notices about me is my American-ness. This has never really bothered me. I’ve always been more or less proud of my country. I’ve been happy to be known as an American in Quirky Johannesburg.
But now, suddenly, my relationship with America feels like a relationship with a spouse who I just discovered has been cheating. Who is this country I thought I knew so well? How could you humiliate me like this, America? What did I do wrong? How did I miss the signs that we were growing apart? How could you leave me, and how will I cope without you? Worst of all, what will happen to the millions of other betrayed spouses who are still living with you? What will happen to the entire world? We trusted you, America, and you’ve let us down.
Fortunately, I live in Melville.
A sign outside Junkie Charity Store, one of my favorite hangouts in Melville.
I’ve spent most of the past five days lying prone on the couch, sleeping several hours a day, waking only to commiserate with friends and compulsively read the infinite stream of Facebook posts about everything Trump.
But today, Ray convinced my friend Michelle and me to drag ourselves up to Melville’s 7th Street for lunch and a stroll. It was a good plan. Melville is so freaking pleasant on sunny Sunday afternoons, it’s impossible to panic about Trumpacolypse while there.
We started with lunch at Melville’s newest restaurant, the Federal.
Lunch at the Federal. Here’s a quick review: The fried macaroni balls with homemade ketchup (bottom left) were the best thing on the table — I wish I’d ordered three more. My cobb salad (bottom center) was just okay in my opinion, but Ray loved it. Ray liked his New York hot dog (top right) but wished it came on a simpler bun because it was hard to eat. He loved the fries and onion rings. Michelle wasn’t blown away by her falafel burger (top left), but also loved the fries. There’s a great selection of beer and wine and an extensive milkshake menu. I love the atmosphere, especially the tables that open right onto the street.
After lunch we crossed the street and said hello to my friend Michelle at Junkie Charity Shop.
Then we walked to Snow Lion, a quirky Afro-Asian gift shop, to buy lotion and soy candles.
Finally we chatted with Shepherd, my favorite bead-animal guy on 7th Street. I planned just to exchange pleasantries with Shepherd, as I normally do, but he managed to make a sale with a new bead-animal design that I’ve never seen before.
Shepherd makes beaded orange hoopoes now. Obviously I bought one. You can find Shepherd at the corner of 7th Street and 3rd Avenue.
I went home feeling much better, and I’ve only read about half a dozen Trumpacolypse posts this evening. I’m taking baby steps…Thanks, Melville.
Donating some money to Planned Parenthood was another thing that made me feel slightly less despairing about Trumpocalypse this weekend. It’s not much but at least I’m doing something for a cause I believe in, which is threatened by Trumpocalypse. Obviously this won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking to make a difference there are many organizations like Planned Parenthood that stand up for the rights of immigrants, women, and minorities. (Thanks for the suggestion, Tekla. I thought I’d pay it forward.)