The election of Donald Trump as our next president has had some unexpected effects on me. (More)

The grief and shock weren’t surprising, but some of the other things have been. The day after the election, I couldn’t seem to absorb what had happened. All day long my thoughts skittered away from it to some other topic, but every time I remembered, I felt the same shock I had felt when the inevitability became clear.

Today I woke up in a different stage of grief. I spent a lot of time wanting to cry, and had to force myself to go to work. But after I finished my work and I ran out on errands, I realized my whole view of the world had changed.

I always enjoy people watching. My writer’s mind makes up little vignettes about why some man, woman and child are laughing so happily, why some gray-haired couple is holding hands … or why they are not. Why that baby is screaming its head off in the stroller while harried mom ignores it and keeps shopping. What about that dad who is walking two skipping toddlers and occasionally swinging them in the air to shrieks of delight? Each one presents a story opportunity.

Today there was a single story like a drumbeat in my head. I went to my doctor’s office. His practice has grown by leaps since the beginning of ACA. Where once his waiting room was seldom crowded, it now almost always is. I looked at those people and wondered how many won’t be there when Trump and his Republican cronies smash health care.

Then I went to Sam’s. Always great for people watching, always great for a nice conversation with someone, employee or customer. This time I didn’t watch the people.

I saw the brown faces, the black faces, the woman in the hijab and wondered how many of them are now afraid. I wondered if they looked at me and saw a potentially dangerous bigot. Could we even have a casual conversation anymore? Heads were down, eyes fixed away from people. Very different from just last week.

I wondered how many women now wondered if they were legitimate prey for bosses, coworkers, strangers on the street.

I wondered if any of these people, men or women, would face violence because of the man part of this country elected.

Again I wanted to cry. One man, one day, and already the world looks different.

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Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon (Flickr)