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Day fifteen (again)

January 23, 2017

A friend got in touch on Friday morning (when I was in the middle of writing my goodbye Obama, hello Dickhead rant) to ask if I was planning to go to the women’s gathering on the island the next morning. I didn’t know there was one planned, but said, yes, absolutely, I would be there. Of course.

Then I finished my rant and posted it. Then I went on to Facebook where I found the first of what I knew would become a daily deluge of can-you-believe-what-the-Dickhead-has-done news stories shared. Then I posted an update saying I simply couldn’t take the deluge and was signing out of Facebook for at least a week. Then I went to the gym and found myself kicking the punch bag (not part of my exercise programme). At some point while I was kicking it I realised I could not go to the women’s gathering Saturday morning. Everyone there would be talking about how awful it was that Dickhead was President and I simply could not face admitting that this was true. When I got home I rang my friend, told her I couldn’t go to the gathering and why. Turned out she’d been thinking exactly the same thing and was relieved that she could bail on it, too.

Saturday evening another friend rang. She’d been to the march in Toronto earlier in the day, said it was huge and quite inspiring. (She hadn’t been to a protest march since the global day of action against the impending invasion of Iraq in February 2003. Before that I’m guessing she hadn’t been to a protest march since the war in Vietnam – although I may be wrong.)

I was planning to stay away from the news as well. That lasted two days. (What can I say? I’m a news junkie.) Yesterday, with some trepidation, I watched the news on Al Jazeera, figuring, if it started to feel as if my head was going to explode, I could fast forward to the non-Dickhead news.

The previous day’s protests were still receiving coverage and it was indeed inspiring to see the turnout in Washington, New York, London. It did make me smile that there had been at least twice as many (by some estimations three times as many) people at Saturday’s protest in Washington as there had been the previous day for Dickhead’s inauguration.

And it actually made me laugh out loud when I learnt that, contrary to all police and security estimations and the photographic evidence, Dickhead had used an intelligence briefing to reiterate his claim that the turnout for his inauguration had been the largest ever. (Clearly, when your hands are so small and your ego is so large, size really does matter.) And that he’d sent his press spokesperson into the White House briefing room to make the same claim. Period. And that he’d sent the malevolent Kelly Anne Conway out to the Sunday morning political shows to offer his administration’s “alternative fact”. (Actually, this last didn’t make me laugh at all, offering up further proof – as if any was needed – that the US really has entered a post-fact era of political discourse.) Unfortunately, this is probably the last laugh I will get out of Dickhead and his cabinet of contemptibles.

Several weeks ago, a friend posted one of those time-wasting quizzes on Facebook. Aimed no doubt at Americans, some of whom would be hard pressed to name Paris as the capital of France, the quiz challenged you to name 20 capital cities. I took the quiz, because I’m always up for a bit of time wasting. I scored 19 out of 20,not because I didn’t know the required answers, but because I simply refused to pick Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, opting instead for Tel Aviv.

Dipping my toe back into the news yesterday I discovered that, unlike the quickly-abandoned-post-election campaign pledge to “lock her up”, Dickhead seems determined to proceed with his proposal to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Netanyahu, like Putin, must be creaming in his jeans.

Okay, enough about Dickhead.

On a much brighter note, rehearsals are going very well. After yesterday afternoon’s rehearsal, Charlie (for whom I’d written the role of Jack) said the play was a lot better than he’d thought when he first read it. And he did, reluctantly, like it when he first read it. (Reluctant, because he had been serious when he said last year that A Visit from Miss Prothero was going to be the beginning and end of his acting endeavours.) I laughed and said the play was a lot better than I’d thought it was when I first wrote it.

I had so much fun working on Prothero with him and Dave, the director, last year. And I am having so much fun working with them again. I knew long before Dickhead was elected that I was going to need some fun in my life to get me (with or without meds) through the winter and I’m having it. Dave needed no persuading to do it again, Charlie more so. I’m so grateful to both of them. If I didn’t have this work to do on my play, I think the car crash on Boxing Day might have done me in.

Of course there is also you, dear reader.

The friend in Toronto who rang me on Saturday has been ringing quite a lot in recent months. She is a follower of the black dog diary and I suspect when she reads a particularly bleak entry, she feels compelled to check up on me. The first thing she always says is: “How are you?” I invariably reply: “I’m fine. How are you?” Part of that, of course, is a Pavlovian response. When people ask us how we are, we invariably say fine, whether or not we actually are. But, as I explained to her on Saturday, in my case it is more or less true.

I get out of bed in the morning, switch the computer on, make myself a cappuccino and sit down at the desk. Half an hour, an hour, sometimes two hours later, I have vented or whinged or whatever I am doing that particular morning and then I am done. I can get on with my day. Better out than in.

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