It seems like I only have time, these days, to meet with friends for a few hours at a time when I see them. But, I have to be honest, I'm glad I'm able to see them at all. I had thought that I'd have more time after my thesis was complete, but my domestic workload's pretty steep and my ability to drive anywhere is curtailed. I've seen some friends and family for the first time since October or even earlier, and those meetings have been kind of the equivalent of poking my head in for a moment to say, Hello, yes, I'm still alive and I haven't forgotten you, but I don't think my schedule will ever stop being incredibly messy. I hope you're doing well!

I'm trying to run an Exalted game, which has been much more difficult than I anticipated. Wednesday is the only available day, and I had been making those sessions weekly for playing, but I'd always come back incredibly tired. Drinking at all is a problem during those sessions, since they're usually very short, and I easily risk getting drunk if I don't keep a close eye on my consumption. The exhaustion's a worse danger, usually. Kay usually can't sleep while I'm out, so Wednesday ends up being a super late night for both of us, and we both get up at 5, so I have to confess a need to limit weeknight sessions to a much earlier hour until my schedule changes in any meaningful way.

Kay's working a lot of overtime in conjunction with finishing an Associate's degree. None of this creates an especially optimal climate for normal hangout times. Everyone's a night owl and I usually go to bed at 9:30 or 10:00 these days.

I'm trying to reach out in other ways. I keep trying to write letters, which I do with only modest success, but still. I owe another set of letters out, but sometimes it's just easier to call. I think my grandparents are in that set - so I called them up, which I do every other month or so. I think I last spoke to them in early January. I talked to my grandfather, who I don't usually actually speak with, and he's doing this anniversary thing in upstate New York which, frankly, is tough. Kay's not really going to have time off, yet, because there's still a new hire time-off freeze. It'd cost a lot of money we really need for debts and repairs. But... they've given us a lot of money over the years, so the dollar bill concerns really feel flat. Anyhow, I missed my grandmother the first time so she had to call me back.

So, I mean, you read the title. I feel like you see how this is probably going to go.

Back in January, we didn't talk politics at all. This is a policy I tend to have with anyone Boomer or older unless I know better. Like, two aging farm-owners in upstate New York are unlikely to have really similar values. My grandmother, I know, is one of those ol' white people racists who once, when I was a young child, evinced an opinion against mixed race marriages on account of white people and black people being different biological races. Not, she said, that she's racist! "Black people are equal," she said, "just that we should get intermarried."

So, you know, there's background to this. And I don't see them very often, and for my birthday and Christmas they send me hundreds of dollars - and I'm in my 30's, so there's really zero obligation for this. If it wasn't for this, we'd have gone hungry and the phones would get shut off and... I don't honestly want to think about it. But my grandmother's called me up, and she's gone Full Trump. Like, the whole nine. And that's disconcerting, because back in November, she liked Carson to win and doesn't trust Sanders (because Socialism - not realizing that I, a Communist, live amongst you), and didn't like Trump's rhetoric.

And now, like, it's Build The Wall, and It's Not OUR America Anymore, (as if it were ever My America, as if I want it to myself), These Are Murderers and Rapists, Have You Even Seen Dearborn?! It Doesn't Look Like America!, Thank God We're Getting Rid of ObamaCare!, and so on.

I'm on the phone having a low-key panic attack that would follow me around for the rest of the evening. I tried to explain - we have the most Syrian and Bosnian immigrants in America where I live, and they've been nothing but a great addition to our city, I tried to explain. The ACA let Kay get a biopsy we'd never be able to afford, it helped me see a doctor which I hadn't done in over 12 years previously! The wall wouldn't even help! Trump is a complete crook and rapist! Brushed off or decried as Fake News. Like, the propaganda machine has done its work but good, I can tell you that it works quick.

What's most chilling is how willfully apocalyptic the stories are. We're Not Sure If We're Going to Make it Before They Rise Up, she told me. We May Not Survive The Coming Years. They'll Come For Us, First. She said.

I sighed heavily. I have to go, I said. I have to make dinner before Kay gets home. She really doesn't know, and it makes me sad in some ways, and relieved in others - the things people tell you when they don't realize that you're not Us. You're Them. Not because you want to be, but because your own family won't listen and couldn't possibly believe you - they refuse to believe in peace because they are legitimately deafened by their own call to war.


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