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She’d bought a used Monopoly game box at the Salvation Army thrift store for three dollars. Two-thirds of the contents were missing or severely damaged. A previous banker had run off with all the five-hundred dollar bills. But all she needed was the Get Out of Jail Free card. She would be mailing it to the President today. No letter or note. A fake return address: Kessler’s Karmic Kards.

Another daily act of Resistance. These individual efforts anchored her, gave roots to her existence since the election. Like many, she’d felt traumatized by the results. Ashamed. Embarrassed. For a long time, just in plain denial. For nearly a month she waited for that anyone to come to the door and inform her this was just a mistaken alternate future. The repair team would have the historical mechanisms reset in the next 4 to 6 hours. Be prepared for a slight interruption in communications services as the present was corrected.

No one ever came.

Like the stages of grief. Like PTSD. What could she have done differently? Anger. She’d stopped talking to half her family. Politics was politics, but this? Pure betrayal. Factions divided and these divisions hardened. Ever so briefly there was a hope that things might not be so bad, that the campaign rhetoric was just that: talk. Then came the reality. Inauguration followed by a shitshow circus. She’d marched. She’d donated. She’d phoned her representatives (and not-her-representatives). She’d protested. She’d countered every crude and hateful comment (real or virtual) with fact, logic, and actual American values.

She seldom laughed. Masturbation led nowhere.

She wore gloves to handle the envelope. As she walked to the mailbox, her confidence in what had seemed like such an empowering, witty idea crumbled. She was still one of many millions of grains of sand whose collective efforts grinded out a difference, but she suddenly felt isolated. Overwhelmed, she sat on the curb. She tore up the envelope. She would not have noticed the tears streaming down her face but for the salty taste on her lip.

Was this defeat? Acceptance? All she felt was a glorious sense of relief.