After Joe Brainard
I remember, as a very small girl, seeing Gerald Ford lose the White House, on TV.
I remember thinking I saw him cry.
I remember then, when I believed politicians had feelings.
I remember later, when George H. W. Bush was laughed at for not understanding supermarkets.
I remember when I was poorer than other kids at college, who had credit cards. One even had her dorm room professionally decorated, with an imitation Roman bust.
I remember when I discovered I wasn’t poor at all.
I remember how Bill Clinton read a lot but thought little about poor women.
I remember “the backlash.”
I remember when Donald Trump was most famous for a showgirl named Marla Maples.
I remember when post-feminism was new.
I remember when a few female writers made their names critiquing date rape.
I remember when, all of a sudden, I couldn’t pay my rent: they jacked it up overnight.
I remember when my boyfriend bought Prada shoes.
I remember “is is.”
I remember when, suddenly, coffee was very expensive.
I remember when people started moving to Seattle.
I remember when people started moving to Portland.
I remember when people started going off the grid.
I remember when I met Arianna Huffington–she was running for Governor of California.
I remember that the child actor Gary Coleman was running against her.
I remember when, years later, I realized that election had predicted Trump, the same way Arianna herself predicted the end of paid journalism.
I remember when people suddenly stopped reading.
I remember when my obsession with books started to seem like vulnerability.
I remember when people stopped picking up the phone for reporting.
I remember when people stopped talking on the phone.
I remember when people started talking about “good television” rather than themselves.
I remember when people stopped taking Prozac and started taking Ambien.
I remember when I stopped hearing “need blind”
I remember when I started hearing “student debt.”
I remember when I stopped believing fully in debt.
I remember that a few years ago men who harassed women were called “cads.”
I remember when “combover” was a synonym for “laughing stock” or “powerless.”
I remember the protest sign that read We Shall Over Comb.
I remember when a man with a combover harassed women.
I remember when he was elected president.
I remember 2017.