The thing with Trump as president has been that you can’t live like this all the time. You can’t always be alive to the surreal excesses of a “Thank you Heather!” era, and you must accept that the president talking about how he’s glad North Korea’s dictator is doing well again is something that just happens. Because, what else could you do? You’d be unable to do anything but watch the president and respond. This seems to be true, even, for casual Trump supporters who often say that they just ignore what he says, as if Trump could abide us not thinking about what he says. I imagine that nearly everyone has had a handful of moments, fewer and farther between as time goes on, where you look up on the sidewalk or in the freezer aisle and think, Donald Trump is…president, wow.
But sometimes that moment takes on a different color — an almost out-of-body, rewinding-back feeling; the ice and stone that accumulates around hearts falls away, and you’re able to see your surroundings in vivid, destabilizing clarity — that everything matters, actually, and Trump’s every word mattered, that whatever’s happened between all the rest of us has mattered these last five years, and when you start thinking again like that, it’s this overwhelming crack-your-heart-open experience.
So yes, the light will go off in the still-electric room. No matter how you felt about it, no matter which parts broke your consciousness and which slipped by, eventually the days will no longer begin and end and stretch to the very last with Donald Trump’s thoughts. But to think that we could stay the same!