I wrote this in Facebook today: “A heartfelt plea to all my friends: if you haven’t voted, please. Please do it tomorrow. Please ask your friends if they have voted, and if they haven’t, then beg them. No question this will be contested, and if the turnout isn’t a tsunami, there are dirty tricks beyond our imagination waiting in the wings.”
Now I’m writing the rest of this. By the time y’all read it, the election results may have already come in. Yes or no, who knows what comes next?
I don’t want to live out what should be my golden elder years in a Republican kleptocracy, not here, not in California, the home for which I had to wait through thirty-three years of Elsewhere. I am here to stay. I was so grateful when 1999 turned the wheel and we got in the big Dodge van and the rentosaurus and headed west. We’d loved the Philly we’d lived in for seven years (magic number), and we left behind things that would keep drawing us back for visits. But California had always been the dream, and after we arrived it took me months before I’d have to stop whatever I was doing to absorb the heart-lurch of realization: I live here now.
The multiverse smiled. We found the perfect little place in Sebastopol, after nearly six months of house-hunting in which we gradually made peace with the fact that we’d made a mistake of epic dimensions: no way could we afford most of Sonoma County. But we didn’t give up, and the miracle happened, and we’re here to stay.
Then came the awful realization that the touring market we’d assumed we would re-enter was dead. And given the nature of local theatre in the North Bay, we were not remotely going to be able to start a new theatre here. OK, we stayed home and sent our stories out over the radio with a three-year series, and that got us through the first rough patch. Then we started to do live performances more or less locally with repertory from past years and started mounting new work. Things were looking up.
I’d planted a garden and was enjoying my new partnership with dirt. We are not accomplished social animals, but we found a good circle of friends. It felt like we’d have a sweetly-sloping path to the eventual Summerland, and then the fires came. And returned, and fastened their grip on the future. Now we also have an unprecented political schism and the plague. I think our future plates will be very full of challenge, and the image of my sun-blessed elder years is a sweet joke.
But I’m here. Right here. This is home. And I do own a very sharp pitchfork.