Letter from America 12: And Finally Apres moi…!
Behind me, my nephew listens to bluegrass music and taps away at his iPad, working from home. Or rather, his parents’ home – he lives in LA.
On the floor below mom looks around her from her bed, and wonders where she is.
Shortly I will accompany sister to bully the tiny watchmaker who messed up her Cartier.
Everyday life in smart America. The sea dreams away on my left, La Jolla gets on with its preening and flirting, and its buying – yes, it’s Black Friday, so all the stores will be heaving after the Thanksgiving hiatus. But buy buy buy! Stuff!
You’re the victim of every bluff
However much you consume you can’t get enough
Stuff made of guff!
Stuff filled with puff!
Stuff which is really
Nothing but bluff!
Fluff stuff! Standing stuff!
Running stuff! Televisually
In New York and Washington men and women with pale faces look out over the ruins of democracy with joy or fear, still trying to work out how the candidate with the most votes in the last election is not going to be President.
So how do I sum up this last stunned and stunning two weeks?
Yesterday for Thanksgiving we dined at the mansion of a Trump supporter. In a gated community hidden away in the back roads of La Jolla, protected by armed guards. The host was unremittingly charming, hospitable and kind. The house heaved with a good cross section of wealthy Californians. The Millennials with their young kids, so sleek, so smiling, so very lovely. Then the older generations, many of them expats who had made it or not in this gilded jungle. The fat, the thin, the fit, the dim.
Humans come in shapes and sizes
Some of them are nice surprises
Some like ships upon the sea
Some of them are you and me
Their Corners brim with arms and legs
With fingers toes upon the edges
Some of them don’t play the game
By leaving out the human brain!
On the car journey I was strictly informed that politics and religion are never discussed on Thanksgiving. Frustrating! So many questions: how could he? Why on earth? Is he sane? On the journey: sister, nephew, mother. We discussed the “give him a chance” brigade. And agreed, sadly – we have no choice! The BO is to be president. The option of shooting him is sadly not on – already the state is spending millions a day protecting the bastard. Besides one Englishman tried and failed already. And the prospect of Pence taking over is a terrifying one.
So in the mansion I ate and drank and only one phrase kept floating through my head: apres mois le deluge! Attributed to Louis XV of France (or maybe his floozy, Madame de Pompadour) meaning “after me comes the flood.” So correctly predicting the French Revolution. Heads will roll…
Today the Globally Warmed coast basks in burning November sun. The rabid right racists are hunting for Muslims Jews and blacks to break. Builders are putting their wall-building bids together. Fox News, Breitbart and all the other rabid media are still celebrating rabidly. The Big Orange is looking for more barking nutcases to appoint to his cabinet. Barking nutcases all over the country are preparing their cvs for submission.
I am nearly packed….within a few hours I’m outta here.
Here is an old poem – about 3 years old – seems appropriate. But don’t WORRY. Sorry.
A Fall of Leaves Perhaps
This Autumn le petit mort
Or was that
Rainy gloomy messy thing
The last summer?
The wistful world
At last reject
Us, This virus which
This earth, disturbed, stirs
And with a mighty
(Do I care, dear?
I’m outta here!
One wing detached, see me fly!)