I sit here at 6 a.m., water bottle by my side, coffee brewing, Riccola sugarless throat lozenges at the ready, and the cough never ending.
There were only two people in the world, Walt and my mother (now only one) who don't give me a hard time about this cough because it seems to be an annual thing. Every year around this time, I develop "the cough." It starts with a tickle and builds to such a wracking cough that it sometimes feels like it reaches down into my toes to pull up the tickle through every organ in my body.
It's not a productive cough. It's just a dry, hacking cough that robs me of sleep and makes me sound like I'm running my own T.B. ward.
It settles in for a couple of weeks and then, just as suddenly as it came, it leaves.
You can almost set your watch by it. Yet I forget every year and about 3 days into this endless coughing, I am reading back over an entry in "Today in My History" and find that x years ago, I was complaining about the same thing.
My mother watched me go through it throughout my childhood, I think, and Walt has been living with it for 51 years. My mother, of course, has now forgotten that.
I hate to go out in public because people thing I'm dying and I really hate to go to shows without a bag of Riccola (the only remedy that seems to work) in my purse. But really it is nothing. Just my body having a little fun at my expense and I know it will be gone soon. In the meantime, no need to remind me to drink water. I'm drowning in it.
The problem with "the cough," though is that it really wears you down. Yesterday I was sitting here at the desk trying to write an article when all of a sudden I realized that I had to take a nap. Now. I staggered to the recliner, cuddled up under the quilt, and was asleep instantly, for the next hour and a half.
I went to sleep at 10:30 last night -- very, very early for me -- and again, was asleep right away.
Of course when I go to sleep that early, I am also awake early and so at 4 a.m., I was watching the Rachel Maddow late report that I had recorded. Usually the late report is just a rerun of her earlier prime time broadcast, but following Trump's vitriolic immigration rally in Arizona yesterday, she was had announced that she would be live for the late report.
I turned it on and thought I would fall asleep, but I didn't. Her historical perspective on what is happening in this country right now was fascinating -- how the Whig Party had been such a ruling party for so long, but fell apart around the time Lincoln was becoming active in politics (and thus was a member of the early Republican party)
The hue and cry back then was against the Catholics and how they were ruining the country and how we should get those dirty Catholics out of here. I'd never heard that before.
It seems that throughout our history in this country we have always needed someone to hate. Rachel pointed out that the anti-Catholic movement swept across the country, but by the time it got to California, it was no longer the dirty Catholics who were to blame for everything, but the dirty Chinese.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Did we ever really believe it, or is that Emma Lazarus poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty just a big joke?
I watched Trump in front of that wall of American flags talking about all those criminal immigrants and how he would rid the country of 2 million of them in this first hour as president. And the 11 million who would be gone ... and how we won't just take them "across the border" but "far away" where they can't turn around and re-enter right away.
Humanity aside, I want him to explain the process and where the money for all this deportation is going to come from.
I watched him with the Mexican president talking about the friendship between the two countries and then heard the vitriol about that damn wall and how Mexico will pay for it, though Nieto insists he told Trump his country will not pay for a wall. (One of them is lying, since Trump says they never discussed payment for the wall. Since this is the cornerstone of Trump's campaign, it is implausible that the cost of the wall did not come up).
Is Trump leading the way for the dissolution of the Republican party the way the anti-Catholic movement and disagreement over slavery was part of the dissolution of the Whig Party?
I have started watching Morning Joe on MSNBC when I wake up around 3 or so. I turned it on originally because it was one of the best soporifics around. Five minutes into the show and I'm out like a light. However, in the last few days, as Trump has become more and more outrageous (can he get more outrageous?) I watch host Joe Scarborough and especially co-host Mika Brzezinski struck literally speechless and Brzezinski with her head down, shaking her head and murmuring "I just don't know what to say."
Donald Trump has changed the face of this country. No matter what the results of the election are, he has given permission for all of the far radical right to come out of the closet. The KKK, Skinheads, Neo Nazis and your run of the mill bigots have all found legitimacy in the Trump candidacy and I suspect that if Trump does not win the election, they will not go back into their dark corners again but will continue to feel comfortable to, as I saw a recent parade of truck drivers recently, yell things like "Death to all ni**ers," and "There's a tree that looks good for hanging a "ni**er." Trump's acceptance of these people into his faithful has been not only disgusting, but also downright scary.
And if Trump does win the presidency...I shudder.
I thought this morning that I feel like the old guy in that beer garden scene in the movie Cabaret, with the sweet faced Arian boy singing a sweet song called "Tomorrow belongs to me" which gets more and more strident until the camera pans out and he's in a uniform with a swastika on his arm and giving a heil Hitler salute. The old guy just sits there eating his soup, with a disgusted look on his face, while everyone else is stirred by the rhetoric, and stand to give their own salute in response to the song.