Dear Hillary –
While considering how to approach this letter, I first asked myself a simple question: what would I say if I just ran into you, unexpectedly? This turned out to be not at all useful, as the answer involves me falling apart, dissolving almost immediately into a gibbering heap of tears and admiration. There would be many strange and disconcerting noises – and so much ugly crying – but very little intelligible English. It would inevitably be awkward.
Not that my previous written communication has been any less so. This is my second letter to you; the first featured a typed note, unevenly cut out and pasted into a card. Given the state of overwhelming despair and rage I felt at the time (only slightly less overwhelming now), I can’t remember much of what it said, apart from the phrase “Cheeto-encrusted colostomy bag” (an accurate description of 45, but nevertheless awkward to say to one’s hero). It turns out that I’m rather lacking in my skill with a glue-stick and I created a crooked, crusty mess. I didn’t want you to think that this was from what would appear to be an uncoordinated child with spatial difficulties, I signed my name along with “Seattle Central College professor.” I might as well have written the whole thing in crayon and signed it “Love Carissa, Age 44.”
When it comes to communicating with you, evidence suggests that I should not be left to my own devices. I turned to my beloved mother, Elizabeth, for some sane* advice.
(* Sane being a relative, and possibly inaccurate term. In the interest of full disclosure, when I described waiting outside the Paramount Theater last October after hearing you speak for 90 totally-worth it minutes, I expected Mom to laugh at my dedication. Instead, she told me about waiting around outside a hotel in downtown Seattle for hours back in the ‘90s just to get a glimpse of Bill. We are very dedicated Clinton supporters! And …. Still awkward.)
Anyhoo … Mom was insistent that I share my tiny contribution to the HRC campaign. While you were working your fingers to the bone fending off attacks from every side, your action figure alterego, MiniHill, was spreading #imwithher love across three countries, captured and shared with the world via Instagram. Yup, I’m a 40-whatever year old woman carrying a doll around in her purse everywhere I go (*cough* awkward *cough*).
MH enjoyed shots of mescal on the beach in Zihuatanejo, visited the Botticelli room at the Uffitzi in Florence, ate gelato in the Cinque Terre, explored the back streets of Rome, and ogled gondoliers in Venice. Yes, mom made me promise to include photos.
Back to my family history of awkward stalking behavior: my reason for waiting around was to be a part of the group whose enthusiasm for your campaign was so great that we would stand around for 90 minutes to show how profoundly we were rooting for you. And we still are. In this time of “WTF IS IT TWEETING NOW?” and “What country has its bombs pointed at us today?,” despair is easy. Despair is understandable. Yet there you are, back at it, brilliant, sharp and hilarious as ever – by God, if you can get back out to fight the good fight, then so can we. That is what you give us. You inspire me every day.
I believe you quoted R.H Sin recently: “Some women fear the fire/Some women simply become it.” You are fire – we are all ready to become flame.