August 08, 2016
I work with like-minded individuals, so the shirt went from being a glowing sandwich board to being completely invisible the second I entered the room and remained like that until I left at 6 p.m. to head back to my new home in the suburbs.
Shortly after arriving at the house, I set out to a rough neighborhood nearby to rent a trailer from U-Haul. A black man who was sitting on a stoop gave a nod and a supportive laugh. He looked like he had been hanging drywall all day but had one foot in a cast and the other one wrapped in so many bandages and bags it was almost spherical. He asked me where I got my shirt and I said the website line again. Most of the reactions fit into some kind of general pattern about American demographics, but this one was a curveball. Shortly after, we got back to the norm as a Mexican man standing by a U-Haul trailer gave me the most aggressive look of the past 24 hours. He took off his wraparound shades and rested them on his gelled hair, seemingly unaware of how both things gave away his status as an illegal alien. I stared back and we had one of those stupid moments men have where both sides know they”re not going to fight but they want to pretend they might because, well, just because. He was mad for the same reason the textile Jews, the urban Muslims, and the drunk hipsters were mad. They had taken the DNC definition of Trump and run with it. That’s irritating when it comes from Americans, but it’s downright audacious coming from immigrants. Can you imagine visiting a party and after finding out the host isn”t a fan, wanting to fight him? Of course not. You”d leave.
I headed back to the suburbs for good and when I got there, I took my youngest for a walk around the neighborhood. I”ve worn this shirt around here a lot and it fits the Rolling Stones shirt analogy almost as much as Florida. Unlike the 47% who don”t pay tax in this country, these people are being taxed at almost 47% and they don”t like it.
Shortly into the walk, I passed an old man with a white mustache who was staying in shape and listening to the radio on his headphones. He came from a time before irony so I could tell he was sincere. His generation fought overseas and rebuilt America from scratch. He likely never talked about the war and he kept his nightmares to himself. When he was 20, a “trigger warning” was getting shot and a “safe space” was anywhere you didn”t get shot. When we say we want to make America great again what we really mean is we want to make America proud again. We want to recognize the people who made America great and show some gratitude. “Trump,” he said too loud because of his headphones, “good stuff!” I knew he couldn”t hear me but I clearly enunciated, “Thanks” in return.