I Just Want To Wake Up!
By Kathy Koches
Drenched in sweat, shaking in fear, eyes wide I shivered in my bed! I cautiously peered around my darkened bedroom and saw an eerie blue glow. Was it another nightmare? I slowly pulled the covers down below my chin and realized that the light was coming from the television on my dresser. I shook my head in disbelief, as I realized that this “nightmare” just might be real.
I had been suffering from Dengue Fever, which includes high temperatures and can induce hallucinations. “Surely,” I thought, “this must be the case.”
While my husband is a “political junkie” and watches all of the news shows and listens to all of talking heads he can find, I prefer to tune it all out. Somehow my desire to remain informed is at odds with my desire to remain sane. Of course I could not completely insulate myself from the political drama taking place in my birth country, but I was content to live in my own little bubble. I could not help but see some of the rhetoric on Face Book and we did actually watch all three debates. But this was more than enough for me. We cast our absentee ballots and held firm to the belief that the majority of Americans would not fall for the ridiculous promises made by the racist bigot that was the nominee of the Republican Party. It just was not conceivable to me that so many people could be fooled by a con man.
The night of the election I went to bed early, the fatigue phase of the Dengue still holding me in its grip. I awoke periodically, opened one eye and peered at the TV screen, hearing some unsettling results, but then falling back asleep. This happened several times during the night, but each time I thought, “Oh, I must be dreaming.” and did not truly understand what was actually happening.
Somehow, my subconscious mind began processing the information I was hearing in my sleep. Suddenly I awoke, terrified. Was this just a nightmare? Could it be real? I hoped and prayed that I was wrong.
When the sun finally rose the next morning, I smiled, stretched and swung my feet over the side of the bed. I was about to stand up, when a flicker of light caught my eye. I turned to the TV and there, to my horror, I saw confirmation of my nightmare. “Nooooo,” I screamed – it cannot be true!” Yet there on the screen I saw the election results, and there was no denying it anymore. My worst nightmare had become a reality!
The weeks slowly pass, and just when I think it cannot get any worse, it does. As news of the new Cabinet appointments has been released, and I see the people who will decide the fate of our country for the next four years, my heart breaks. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are in danger of losing many of the rights that we fought so hard to gain during my lifetime, rights of women, LGBTQ people, rights to clean water, and environmental protection. I am even in fear that the elderly, including me, will suffer cuts or even the loss of their Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Prior to this election, I believed that the worst day in the history of the United States was 9/11. Now I believe that 11/9 will replace it as the day our country destroyed itself. I hope and pray that I am wrong, but for now, I just want to wake up from this nightmare!
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- March 2023 - February 28, 2023