By Nina Gaby
DJ, may I call you that? It’s informal but then again, you are “for the people” of which I am one. Saying “President Trump” just carries all sorts of negativity, and this here is a little thank you note. Don’t worry, I’m not an academic or anything. I don’t even have an MFA. (That’s a college degree for people who are serious about their writing.) I just wanted to check in.
First off, DJ, you got me back in the pool. Last time I was this depressed was right after Reagan’s election. I’d just stopped drinking. I was all sorts of bloated and baggy-eyed (you know what I mean, bro) and wow, if I didn’t just swim my way out of that depression and addiction! I was gorgeous! Not a “10” but I bet you’d have looked twice at me, all artsy and zaftig1. Sober, however, I might have been a bit rejecting of you and for that I’m sorry in retrospect. You know I’m older now and have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and shoulder shit and stuff and can’t really swim, but I’m back in the pool….I strap on one of those belts and jog back and forth, back and forth, just thinking about you. (PS I’m also doing yoga and lifting weights again, thanks to you.)
And who knew pink was my color? I never wear hats. But that march, well, a whole new me.
In a way, DJ, you may also be giving me more job security than I can even handle as a writer, an addictions specialist and psychiatric nurse practitioner. A mixed blessing to be sure. And if you and your buds decide to dismantle Social Security and Medicare I’ll need the continued income for my own medical expenses. Or bail, as the case may be.
Big shout-out dude for bringing more attention to Holocaust Remembrance Day by signing that anti-immigrant executive order exactly on that day, although the next night it did get a little dicey at the airports. We Jews may be feeling a bit overlooked right now which doesn’t feel quite fair, given our history. I made a special trip to Michael’s Crafts to get a couple squares of yellow felt so I could make Jewish Stars (Yes! Like sheriff’s badges! You remember!) but then thought wearing them prematurely might be too radical even for me. Speaking of that, the whole Bannon thing is kind of dizzying. And what’s up with Ivanka and her shoulders? When I lived in Israel and went sleeveless through the religious quarter they threw bricks at me. I love that Ivanka got permission to drive home from Inauguration even though it was past nightfall on Erev Shabbat. Maybe one of the things you can do to prove that you really love the Jews is make sure no one can schedule important events on Saturdays. With a stroke of the pen I bet you can just do that. The thought of it makes me feel pretty darn important. And popular.
And last but not least, let’s not forget social media. I’m no dexterous Twitter genius like you are with those cute little fingers of yours, but I know my way around Facebook and because of you I have so many more friends! I even belong to a book group, the first I’ve ever been invited to, and we are reading a book and it’s about you. Thanks again. I get a lot more “likes” on my posts than I used to, all my little action plans and silly little memes. How about the clown with the orange hair climbing out of that quaint barn? I stopped on my way to work to snap that. So inspired! I’m writing like a little motherfucker, excuse the language. Because of you I’m getting essays accepted and my fat little fingers just can’t stay off the keyboard.
Well this just hit 649 words and I don’t want to take up any more of your reading time. Just wanted to reach out and be that change I want to see in the world.2
In synergy3, NG
1 Zaftig (Yiddish) Means plumply succulent and juicy, womanly. Just the way you like us. Being from NYC I probably didn’t need to define that.
2 From a quote by M. Gandhi, (1869-1948) Indian pacifist who was assassinated by an extremist who did not like Gandhi’s tolerance of Muslims, among other things.
3 When everything just seems to come together like magic.
**A shorter iteration of this piece has been previously posted on the Brevity Blog under a different title.
Nina Gaby is a writer, visual artist, and psychiatric nurse practitioner. She is the editor of Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women published by She Writes Press in 2015. Most recently her creative nonfiction is appearing in Diagram, Proximity, Mslexia, Entropy Magazine, the new Seal Press anthology, How Does That Make You Feel? Confessions from Both Sides of the Couch, among other collections. Gaby is a runner-up in the Quarter-After-Eight short prose contest, and has work coming out in Rock and Sling and the anthology A Second Blooming. She infrequently blogs at www.ninagaby.com. Her sculptural porcelain is in the National Collection of the Renwick at the Smithsonian, and Arizona State University permanent collection. She exhibits her mixed media book art in venues in Vermont where she lives and works in a very old house across from the longest floating bridge east of the Mississippi. Politically active on social media, Gaby worries a great deal about algorithms.