Canada, hot dogs and tradition; let’s drink, America

As the Bluebird Dies

Sadie Miller, Columnist

I used to work at my family’s gas station in a town a few miles from here. For quite a while I worked mornings, serving coffee and cigarettes to the men who spent their days driving through town, hunting for news that never shows.

One of my favorite regulars would often say “Did you wake up in the wrong stall again?” (the stall being another person’s bed). It caught me off guard. After the third time, I started to get a laugh from it. I wasn’t waking up in a different person’s bed, although sometimes, if I had lost my way the night before, my bed did feel foreign. My tongue felt like someone else’s. My hands more distant from my core. And I would deny that I had done anything, but they all knew. They had a sense for the truth.

With this election, there is the possibility of this soil no longer feeling like my own. It’s the morning after a whole different kind of party. We’re all a little lost. People have been throwing empty promises of moving to Canada into the wind like little spinning maple leaves, and they’re falling back down at us in heaps. I can’t afford to move to Canada. Hell, I don’t think any of us can. Not really.

If anything, this election has shaken our family trees to the core. And there isn’t any running away from those pieces of your soul. That kind of a trip takes more than a passport. Trump was the face of the enemy—of old discriminative tradition, of racism, of sexism, of homophobia, of transphobia, of anti-immigration—and he exposed the cowards in all of us. Of many whom we love and trust.

We either spent this entire election cycle trying to ignore it or trying to support the lesser of the two evils—our families and friends peering in at us, booing or cheering from the peanut gallery and yelling for a hot dog.

I hate to bring it up. With every discussion of politics, I find myself wincing. I fit into categories that my family/friends are voting to shove into boxes and send across our border to the big Goodwill under our feet.

People make jokes—they laugh off their vote and say that it does not matter anyway, but there are people in all of our lives who are affected by this outcome. Or by the simple picking of sides.

Whether Clinton or Trump, I can’t be sure. My deadline is the afternoon before the end of the election. But the decision that each of us made at that polling place, or the decision that we made before and told our friends and family about, can’t be buried somewhere and left to rot.

I have a feeling that the bars will be fuller than they have been on any Wednesday this year. If they aren’t, then all right. Congratulations.

But I will be with the other boozed or high men and women spinning and falling into the Earth of their lawns. Drink, people, drink. The election is over. The invisible axis in the sky is still withstanding the twirl of us 7.4 billion. The dude in the nosebleed seats up there is giving you the thumbs up. Run for home. Good luck.