On the night of the inauguration I was eating two large slices of pepperoni pizza on top of a trash bin outside of Biggie M’s on Capitol Hill. In a matter of a few minutes, I scarfed them down to the very last fold of chewy crust and swallowed. Suddenly, as either a symptom of an oncoming flu, alcohol poisoning, or my body’s natural response to DT’s presidency, a red hot aggravation swelled inside my belly. With the pressure building and having been fully aware I could not contain the eruption, I broke apart from my group of friends and walked to the other side of the row of trash bins and, thanks to my years of experience, purged as though it was as casual as feeding pigeons in the park. For the next eight hours I purged. Nothing I ingested would settle peacefully. I purged every glass of water. I purged every measly second of sleep. I purged every profound instance of clarity. The grit of my existentialism made an indentation across my knees as I gripped the porcelain waist of the toilet bowl. I half wept in a state of remorse having missed the Women’s March. Not because I was missing out on a historic event, but because I had published poems and posted rants on addressing my unrest, yet I wasn’t doing my part. In what way had I ever effectively assisted in the resistance? Feeling outrage to the point of suffocating myself with the shower curtain does nothing. Complaining to my wife in the safety of our bedroom does nothing. Deleting my father for the pride he takes in sharing deplorable memes does nothing. I thought, what will be my excuse the day of the next Black Lives Matter rally? Or if things, by some miracle, do not get exponentially worse, how will I provide my support to ensure it improves, rather than simply clicking “like” staring into the popcorn void of the ceiling, pondering as the years go by like some kind of modern day Rip Van Winkle. The following Sunday I was standing in the kitchen with my wife and her cousin who was sitting on the counter, drinking from a can of cider. She’d told me an old friend, Sitka, had recently killed herself in New York. She had moved there to attend law school. The news knocked the wind out of me. She wasn’t a person I was particularly close to, but I enjoyed her company immensely in the past. Sitka was hardcore. She was the girl they’d escort out of a bowling alley for lifting her leg up and spraying pee all over a urinal in the men’s restroom. I saw her once at a metal show, in heels sharp as fire pokers, kick this guy she was dating straight in the ribcage. I had always admired her tenacity, and now she was gone. Like Brian, Aaron, Sam, and Francis before her; she was gone. People who, I believe, would’ve taken to the streets a method of protest more impactful than vomiting in the fetal position until everything goes spotty and white. They are gone, but I am here. I have to have more than words.



C.C. Hannett writes about cobweb grottos in the PNW. He lives with his wife and two cats.

Photo illustration by Jessica Herrera

Tuesday, August 29th 2017