A clumsy attempt at writing, including G.O.T. 2017 and Prep NaNoWriMo 2019
|In my youth, I was very skeptical of the United States of America. In the 60s, 70s, and 80s of the last century, it was common to be a lefty in my country. And so I was, very anti-establishment, ultra left in my political views, member of The World Shop, a left movement dedicated to change the world for the better and raise awareness on poverty, ban the bomb manifestations and anti-apartheid to name a few topics. America was Reagan and Nixon and we, the youth of the Netherlands, were not in favor of that country. At least in my circles.
My aunt had immigrated to the States and had invited me numerous times to come over and visit, but there was no way I would do that, so I declined every time. Till 2004 when I was in my second wind and the world no longer was divided into left and right, at least in my country The Netherlands.
I was curious to what end The States had reformed over the years, and I was interested in the people and in its Nature.
So, I visited in the Fall of 2004 for the first time.
It was an eye-opener. I had never encountered such an interesting and beautiful country as the US and I immediately fell in love with the people who were friendly and respectful, and its Nature.
The strangest thing happened: I experienced something in the air I had never experienced before: the feeling of utter freedom, of joy over ‘the sky is the limit’ of great hope and potential. It was the beginning of a change in my attitude towards the USA. I was smitten and head over heels.
For four weeks I traveled through Colorado, visited Denver and stayed one week longer to participate in a sculpture’s workshop, crafting black stone from Zimbabwe from an African artist. I had the time of my life.
When I went home I made a promise to myself to come back as soon as possible, perhaps even at Christmas time that same year, to really experience the life of an ordinary citizen, to find out if living in the States was something for me. So, I did. I was there Christmas time 2004, celebrating with my family in Aurora, Colorado, and I even managed to do some volunteering in a homeless shelter in Denver. It was a great experience and I was convinced I would go back to the States to work and live there.
Alas, suffice to say Life got in the way and my plans stranded. I never went back.
Till last year, when a friend of mine wanted to visit New York City and had no one to travel with her. She obviously didn’t want to go on holiday all by herself and so she invited me to come with her as her companion on a week’s trip to the city that never sleeps. On her expense!
I immediately said yes, how could I refuse? A dream come true, I was going to visit this beautiful country once more and even better I would have the opportunity to pay my respects and to mourn over the deaths of so many: 9/11. I would finally have a chance to visit Ground Zero since that horrible event 16 years ago was still imprinted in my mind.
But again: Life got in the way. In the form of a new President, Donald Trump. And since he is my very own nightmare as the man in power of the most important job in the world, it was imperative I could not visit The States while he was in power. I felt that strong about him.
So, finally, after long deliberation, I declined the trip with my friend.
I won’t return to this land of the brave till President Trump is out of office!
Is it a fluke on my part? Am I overreacting to this new situation with Trump at the wheel? Perhaps, but the man scares me to death. He is my worst nightmare and I think a danger to the equilibrium of the world. For all I know, he can easily disrupt the slight veil of peace that is still predominant in the Western World. But with his erratic behavior, I am not at all sure what will become of the relationship between different countries.
He is making me very nervous indeed.
Of course, I am in no position to pass judgment, I only know what the newspapers are telling me, what the local television and CNN is broadcasting and we all know they are not really in favor of the man. But I try to stay informed and I am as good an informed global citizen with an opinion as anybody else. So I am as much entitled as anybody.
I regret not visiting New York this year, and I hope to have the opportunity to come back real soon. Because that would mean somebody else is ruling the most important country of the Western World.
I am hoping for the best.
Till then I am just reading newspapers, watching television and praying President Trump is not doing something terrible like disrupting world peace, among other things.
And till then I am dreaming of visiting the States once more while reading the bible of the global traveler: Lonely Planet, edition USA.
I look at its maps, read the descriptions of the various chapters of the different states and capitals, cities and towns. I watch CNN and marvel on the poetry of the American language, its art, and writers, its science and culture.
And of course I enjoy participating at this wonderful American, yet internationally oriented website of Writing.com.
And sometimes, when I lay awake at night I regret my decision not to visit New York City.
But there is no way back, my friend already went on another holiday with somebody else. I’ve had my chance.
So, I wait and pray nothing bad will happen in the global dynamics of this world. And I pray I will have my chance to visit once more one of the most beautiful countries of this globe: the USA.
House of Black and White: Dark Story prompts. # 12. "I won't return to this land until..."