To My Family

It feels sometimes like it’s impossible for us to win. I’ve chalked it up to the field I’ve chosen, the fields we have all chosen, but still, it can be heartbreaking.

We drove with Mom snoring in the back seat of the car to Ohio, and then we stayed awake all night with mom snoring in the motel, only to have her wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5 in the morning, all set to work on protecting the election. There are always wandering homeless when you stand outside for too long, especially in the more desperate neighborhoods in America, and here was no exception. There were plenty of crazy people, the kind of people that you feel yourself moving away from, hoping someone else will take care of them, and my mom would kind of fold them in, hear their story, make sure they know they were heard, and somehow get them to go away.

I will not despair. I will not.

Mom is 72 years old, she’ll be 76 next time, 80 the time after that, 84 after that… and no-one’s gonna stop her. She wasn’t protecting the election because all the kids were doing it, she was doing it because she was fighting. She’s *ancient*, *WAY* too old to be standing all day trying to convince people they should vote, but she was doing it. She’s gonna wake up really, really sad tomorrow and she shouldn’t.

First of all, you know mom, she’s gonna forget about the election about eight times tomorrow. And then she’ll remember and be sad all over again. But she shouldn’t be sad because it isn’t about winning. You can’t get mad at America for being scared, for believing what they are told. It’s terrifying, living in America right now, and you can’t get sad about them believing what they are told.

This fight happens every single day. This election doesn’t change anything, we are still battling fear. They try to stop schools from teaching things that show their weaknesses, they try to stop people from voting, from speaking their minds, from saying things that can undermine their power. And its working right now.

I’m stumbling. I’ll admit it. But I won’t despair. I will not.

It’s working right now, but it won’t always work. Mom knows this. She knows that you have to keep fighting the fight. Just because it’s working right now, doesn’t mean that fear will always win. It is inhuman, it’s unnatural to live outside the bounds of constant celebration.

We haven’t called each other tonight, I know that. None of us has called or emailed. I know Dad is really sad right now, the picture of his face in November of 1980 is somehow burned on to my mind, that picture of his sad face when Carter lost. Kent and Sean must be fucking heartbroken. I know Steve and Michelle are trying to figure out how the world even makes sense, and, Jesus, I am not even going to imagine what Ian and Tessa are going through.

My sweet Jordana crawled into bed. She didn’t cry. She cries sometimes when she loses a job or when a gig goes south or when she feels like her parents or friends don’t understand her, but the only times she really cries is when she feels alone in the world. Tonight she didn’t cry, she said she was scared. She’s scared for our country, for our lives, for the future.

Mom went to bed early. She didn’t cry either. After the life she’s had, I can’t imagine that she would cry.

But at some point tomorrow, we are all gonna despair. Same for Mac and Ehren and Seth and Jon and Dan and and and and and…

The fight wasn’t gonna end tomorrow no matter what. People didn’t have an option, really, they didn’t know.

We go see “well made plays” sometimes, and they never really excite you. President Bush… is a million things, but the one undeniable fact is that he is human and we sort of sold out when we nominated the most electable. We should remember that. We sold out, we tried for a package that would please the most people. Next time, we get Hillary to run with Al Sharpton and we get the white house back to someone spunky,

Or not. The war is wrong, the economy is wrong and we’re gonna have four more years of never giving up. And while this happens, we have to have our babies and get our bodies in shape and love each other and continue the debate. The one thing we have to do is to keep fighting. I know you know this, I know I don’t have to say it. I know that none of this helps.

Tomorrow, I’m gonna write music. I’m gonna work on my play and on my art. And I want you to do it too. I know, you’re all smarter than me, this is pollyanna crap, but do it just tomorrow. Tomorrow, make this our day to take one giant step forward, the day after the election is the day we decided that we were gonna throw our shoulder behind the cart and see if we can’t get it out of the mud.

And, just for tomorrow, don’t despair. If you can make it to Thursday without despairing, then maybe we won’t despair at all.