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Pulling the Trump Trigger

For weeks now, the darkness has grown thicker, heavier. At times I am paralyzed by it. I don’t know where it’s coming from. I get through the days, do the things I have to do because I have to do them, but I spend the majority of my waking life feeling darkly depressed and disconnected.

I have stopped reading about politics entirely, and when friends bring up the election, I shut them up and say I don’t want to hear it. Sometimes I lose it and yell, “I don’t want to know,” or “Don’t you think I know these things already? Can’t we talk about art, play guitar, go to the movies?”

But then my mind will drift. Say I’m driving to work, and I randomly land on a show on NPR talking about how both main presidential candidates share the common platform of caring about the working people and wanting to bring jobs home and blah blah blah while I myself am driving to work on two hours sleep. I am furious. I yell at the radio. “Neither one of you care about the working people! You don’t care about me! You don’t care about any of us!” I sweep my arm to address all the commuters around me driving to their jobs. “You don’t care about my daughter!” I scream. It’s her 18th birthday, the morning I hear this on the radio and lose it in my car. “All you care about is winning!” I scream at the nebulous faces of the power elite.

Maybe that’s what sent me down the darkest of dark spirals. That my daughter is now 18. That she can vote, but look what she has confronting her. Her life. What promises can I make to her?

Last week I was ranting to a friend about how I’m not going to vote, and how I want to divorce myself from the political world entirely, live in my own self-created cocoon. In other words, how I plan on adopting the “fuck it” policy of my life.

I just re-watched Harold and Maude (1971) for the gizzilionth time because it continues to be my favorite movie of all time, and I continue to wish I could model my life after Maude. Maude set her bar at 80. I’m thinking I can’t make it that long, and maybe 60 is a better number. It’s that bad inside and outside my world right now.

Earlier in the morning, I find myself vacuuming my house. I grab the vacuum and violently untangle the cord, cursing it and every cord that constantly needs to be untangled in my life. Tears run down my cheeks as I push the vacuum back and forth across the family room rug. I am ranting and screaming to no one in particular. I scream about my mother. I scream about all the motherfuckers who have hurt me. I question why working so hard to keep a roof over my daughter’s head doesn’t count for jack shit. I scream about how tired I am, that I have worked my whole life, and for WHAT? I scream random spews at everyone and everything. Anger roils and gurgles out of me. I finally turn off the vacuum, run into my bedroom, slam the door, sit on the edge of the bed and sob.

Once a friend told me he thinks I’m holding onto a lot of rage.

An hour later I’m ranting to my friend about my overall political dismay. As I talk about how despairing I am, I ratchet up very fast. Things start to explode inside me.

I get specific. I talk about how I can no longer stomach the face of Donald Trump. I scream at my friend, and ask him: “Do you know what it feels like inside me when I see that man’s face and hear him open his slimy entitled dehumanizing mouth? He is the face who represents every rich and privileged man who used, misused, defiled, humiliated and tossed my body away when I was a young teen girl with nowhere to go!” I recount my life on the streets and the Donald Trumps who used my young body. I describe how it was bad enough on the streets being used and dumped by men for the money they though entitled them to use me like a consumable object, but when I was picked up by the mafia in the late 70s, it was much worse – the power, the money, the sickening entitlement to defile and humiliate women. I was sent to men like Trump so they could use me while the mob collected the money. “They were pigs!” I yell at my friend with a desperate rage.

I ask him again in a fury, “Do you know what it feels like for me to have to see that man’s face? Do you know what it does to my insides?” I say all of this knowing damn well that my friend doesn’t know what it feels like though he tries to understand. Who does know what it feels like? Do you? Please tell me.

I really start unraveling when I think of the details. It crosses my mind that Donald Trump could have been one of those men I was sold to in the late 70s. He could have been on a business trip to San Francisco and called a friend who called a friend who knew a mob connection who would send in some “party girls.” One of them would have been me, a sixteen year old kid owned by the mob.

These Trump Men have left their sick stains on my body and my life. His orange face and yellow hair loom out of the media like pustules, a cancer, and the bulging injuries I wear inside me that no one can see but I sure in the hell can feel. He is the face of all the Trumps who shoved their entitled bodies inside mine, took their fat fingered hands and pushed my young head to the floor, gave me fistfuls of cash to turn into the mob, kicked me out the door of luxury hotels, and threw me to the curb.

Let me set the record straight here. There is no party in being a bought and sold party girl. Though Donald Trump thinks party girls are fun. For him. Do you know the extent to which a girl who is sold to men like Trump has to literally disembody herself to endure the dehumanization that the Trumps of the world feel they are entitled to?

I have been defiled by a thousand Donald Trumps, and I have yet to recover.

So I am slipping deeper and deeper into darkness. And then last weekend on my way to meet my daughter at the bakery, I realize that if Donald Trump is president, I will be looking at the political validation of misogyny, hatred, and the dehumanizing devastation that the rich and entitled men launch on innocent young women and girls. Women like me who once was a girl used by so many thoughtless and cruel Donald Trumps. I will be facing my tormentors on a daily basis. The monsters that haunt my body will become the embodiment of the State. This is a fucking nightmare.

Of course I feel hopeless and dismayed. It’s like my worst inner horrors coming to life and breathing through every media outlet. I unplug. I have no choice. Please don’t tell me the stories. I know them. I have lived with them my whole life.

I am no fool. I know politics are corrupt. I know the only reason people run for president is for power. I understand that they are not part of my world nor have they ever been.

Except Donald Trump was part of my world. Maybe that is what is making me so dark. I know him. He is all too familiar, and his presence in my life have left scars on my body memory. He is the part of my life that will always remember what it feels like to be used by a rich ugly man who thinks it’s okay to pay a 16 year old girl to perform acts of sexual humiliation for him while he wields his fistfuls of money and the towering hard-on of his ego. He is the face of the men who treat young girls as less than human, less than dogs. For Trumps, young girls are objects of consumption, things they are entitled to buy because they are men with money and power. I have been that thing – Donald Trump’s thing that he could buy like so much disposable garbage. Nothing about this feels good.

I am sick with political trauma and life trauma all coalescing in this man’s hideous face bulging out of the TV screen at the gym. What world do I live in?

I can’t look at his face. I can’t live with this man leering over my daily life.

The stories come out in the press about how Trump has used and defiled women. Everyone is shocked. Why? There is nothing shocking here. The fact that it is mundane reality is what should shock people. That these things have always happened, and no one gives a fuck until it becomes part of a presidential race. Don’t people realize that Donald Trump is both a man and a common symptom, a scourge that has existed for centuries? The scourge of men who think they are entitled to treat women and girls as objects for their entertainment.

Do you know what it’s like to survive being one of those girls? I do. And seeing that man’s face and hearing his voice, reading about him, hearing about him, anything and everything about him brings back every horrific trespass I have endured under the hands and bodies of rich men who shit on women, sometimes literally, and think it’s okay.

So I cannot participate in the political world anymore. I have cut myself off. I am trying to make do. The day it hit me, I drove home, crashed to my bed and did not get up for 32 hours.

I realize I am suffering from Trump Trauma. He represents the worst of things that have traumatized my body and my life. Things that have made living sometimes feel like an unbearable task. He and so many Trumps beat and brutalized my young body to the point that every single waking day of my life I battle the scars they left on me, and I have to struggle just to find worth within myself to get out of bed because they made me believe I was so worthless. They made me feel so humiliated and dehumanized that I left my body and didn’t occupy it for decades.

Well I occupy it now, and neither my body nor my soul can endure being reminded of what Trumps did to me and so many other innocent lost young girls. The very thought that this man could be president of the United States is living proof that capital and power have always come first in this country, especially for white men.

I don’t matter to him. If he looked at me, he would see an ugly, worn out, aged and overwrought 54 year old woman struggling every day to survive the legacy of Trump Trauma on my body. A woman who has to face her trauma as it leers out of the political apparatus. A face that says, “You thought you escaped. There is no escape. This is and always has been how it is. So shut your trap.”

But I’m not shutting my trap. I am writing these words because I have a perspective on Donald Trump that not many have lived to share. I have survived the unbearable acts of Trumps against women, and I am going to continue to survive.

These are words of truth. I now will wade through the sludge that is weighing me down, and say FUCK YOU EVERY GODDAMN DONALD TRUMP. May you endure the hells you unleashed upon lost girls and women you have hurt. May you be humiliated and defiled until you lose your sense of humanity and worth. May your towers of power tumble and crush you, bury your fists of cash and your wagging dicks and tongues. May you rot in your own legacy because I’m not going to let the legacy you left on me kill me. I refuse. I will overcome. Even if it is just in my own quiet revolution of survival.

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Kim Nicolini is an artist, poet and cultural critic living in Tucson, Arizona. Her writing has appeared in Bad Subjects, Punk Planet, Souciant, La Furia Umana, and The Berkeley Poetry Review. She recently completed a book of her artwork on Dead Rock Stars which will was featured in a solo show at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA. She is also completing a book of herDirt Yards at Night photography project. Her first art book Mapping the Inside Out is available upon request. She can be reached at knicolini@gmail.com.

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