It happened here

Today I cried for the first time since the election. It seems overdue, somehow. Delayed. Tardy. I just missed the mark. Everyone else has shed tears every day since the election, but I just started.

The day after the election, “White’s Only” was scrawled on a bathroom stall at my old high school. Someone wrote “Trump!” on the door to a Muslim prayer room at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, my alma mater. These are just two instances of countless similar, and much worse, stories that have already started to crop up around the country. Racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic bigots are already emboldened by the election of Donald Trump.

But for me, these two instances strike close to home in a way that I hadn’t imagined. It would never happen there, right? Though I never once believed that my high school and my college were perfect, unproblematic spaces, I thought that my high school and college were better than this, would somehow be untouched by this.

I was wrong. And it pains me that I was so wrong. These are nowhere near the worst news I’ve heard this past week, but they’re the two measly pieces of straw that broke this camel’s back.

Today I cried for the first time since the election. This entire weekend I’ve felt the need to rest, to somehow get my energy back after being sapped so thoroughly in the days after the election.

I have not yet regained my strength. I have not yet decided that I’m ready to face all of it again.

But on the other hand, there is no time to wait. With the steady news of Trump’s potential cabinet and his top advisors being a who’s who of the people you really don’t want leading, it feels like the clock is running out. There cannot be any time lost in waiting for the perfect moment, for when I’m energized and “ready” and feeling safe enough to put myself back out there. I may never feel truly safe and at peace again.

Because it happened here. It happened here.

I’m going to sleep soon. And I don’t know if tomorrow I’ll feel ready to get up, go to the gym, get ready for work, and head to the office.

But I will do it because I must.

Published by Caroliena Cabada

Caroliena Cabada is a writer currently based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing, Fiction, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her writing has been published in online and print journals and anthologies, and has been selected for Best Small Fictions 2021.

5 thoughts on “It happened here

    1. Thank you so much for your words. I read your Medium piece and it struck a chord with me. I think everyone was feeling the same loss, the same sense that love had lost.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.