Trump is president and Leonard Cohen is Dead

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I was killing time at my best friend’s condo in PDX tonight, waiting for the protests to die down when the news of Leonard Cohen’s death broke.

My friend didn’t know who he was, so I played “Hallelujah” on Spotify for him and his kids.

Of course they only know the Jeff Buckley version, or, more realistically, the John Cale version from “Shreck,” but my point was made.

The man whose lyrics I read more than I ever listened to is dead at 82.

And Trump was in the White House today.

Its still inconceivable. I can watch the stages of grief play out on the faces and in the actions of the people walking down Broadway. I could see the slumping shoulders and fixed smile of the woman across from me in the all-day media presentations I sat through today.

My son texted me at 10:30: Dad, can I go home? Kids are protesting at school, and some kids have confederate flags, and they’re taunting them and calling them names. I don’t feel comfortable.

I told him to stay and watch and see if he couldn’t play peacemaker or at least protect the most vulnerable.

Those are his super powers.

We sat in the courtyard of my friend’s condos and drank beer and bitched and moaned for a bit. We talked about his divorce and our desire to just do art and build community and let the world go to hell around us.

I listened to Leonard Cohen most of the way home from Portland, until I couldn’t take the melancholy any more with the knowledge that his spirit is gone away.

I played Judah The Lion for the last 20 minutes and wandered through the last two days building headlines in my mind.

My wife poured out her frustrations about comments from pro-Trump family members on her Facebook posts when I got home, and we talked about how little we cared about politics when we grew up. I was vaguely aware of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, and she remembers hearing her parents lament the Clintons in the White House.

Tomorrow I’m going hunting in the rugged canyons of the Deschutes River. This is where I want to be to end to hellish week. I’ve woken up everyday to the harsh reality that this is not just a bad dream.

So I’m going to walk around the great outdoors for a day and watch a good dog work the brush and try very hard to not think about the inevitable.

 

 

 

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