Seaking Solace

Seeking Solace: How I Went to Sleep in America and Woke Up in a Third-World Country

Rattled by the 2017 Inauguration, and Donald Trump’s subsequent first month in office I went seeking solace from one of the major American healing balms: religion, mysticism, and consumerism.

Face-to-face with my local Rabbi I poured out my soul. “This pit in my stomach. You know the one. I feel all is lost,” I quaked. “How are you coping?”

My Rabbi leaned close with a comforting smile. “I think that Trump will declare martial law and that nuclear war is in our future. But to be on the safe side, invest in gold. International gold. Because the government will collapse and all of our investments will be worth bubkes.”

My head swam. “What is international gold, and where do you get it?”

His smile got wider. “Some suicide pills are a good idea in case of a nuclear war. Only schmucks die a slow death. Crawl into bed with your family, everyone swallows a pill at the same time and Shalom.”

“Egad, what about the dog?” I quivered and after ritually washing my hands thoroughly, I left.

Note to self: cross-organized religion off the list of ways to cope.

Next I called my friend Darlene. “I need tools to get through the next four years, want to go to the metaphysical store with me?”

Stomping the snow off our feet outside of Tabitha’s Mystic Mart, Darlene shoved the door open. Curling plumes of blue incense crawled into my nostrils making me wheeze.

“Look, a wolf spirit figurine with wings!” I grinned pointing up to a dusty rickety shelf. “Solace in spirit animals, yes, a thousand time yes!” I squealed.

With a wiggle of her nose Tabitha levitated the wolf off the shelf. It completed a soft landing on the glass counter faster than you can say, “Wingardium Leviosa!”

The smoke was closing my lungs. “Perfect!” I chocked.

Back outside I took a deep breath of fresh cold air. However my right foot slipped on the ice. Flailing, I dropped the bag, crunch! The wolf landed on his head. Despite the claim that he was made out of pure Turquoise, he shattered like tempered glass.

Note to self: cross mysticism off the list.

Down to my last saving grace I called my Niece Tiffany, “I need some shop therapy, are you in?”

Tiffany giggled, “I’m in, meet you at Macy’s in ten!”

Soon we stood together in housewares. “Breathe deeply dear Tiffany, the smell of the new!”

Tiffany’s hand caressed a shiny toaster. “I love kitchen stuff!”

Marcy Macy materialized right next to me out of nowhere. “Are you shopping for a gift?”

“Yes, for a dear friend,” I lied.

“All Pfaltzgraff dishware is .01% off for the next ten minutes.”

“Ten minutes from now, or when I finish this sentence, or when I stop thinking?” I moaned. “My dear friend has lovely black dishes from her wedding. But they are so bleak this time of year. And her Grandmother’s set is beautiful, however so fragile.”

Marcy Macy foamed at the mouth as she leered at her prey.

“And the set from her mother-in-law never fit right in the dishwasher…” My voice faltered.

Marcy Macy gave a pleasured gasp, “cash or credit?”

“Credit, and I will pull my car around!” Somewhere in the distance I heard a bell ring. Either an angel just got its wings or my credit card set off the Macy’s alarm.

“Every time I use my new Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne dishes, it feeds my soul.” I told Tiffany over the phone later.

“Me too Auntie, me too!” She said setting her own table with a matching set.

Note to self: consumerism wins!

This is why I think that America will be all right in the end. Americans find war too worrisome, metaphysics too messy, but consumerism just right. We will make decisions that support our ability to purchase too much stuff. It is our God given right!

Anti-Trump balm

Go on, buy more stuff, it will make you happy and, if it doesn’t solve all you problems you will forget them, at least for a microsecond.








Author: Betsy Baker-Burns

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