MICHAEL: Why were there two sets of boxing gloves on the kitchen island this morning?
ALEXANDRA: Oh, they arrived last night. I meant to box them up to return them before we left, but when I went to Twitter to check for presidential tweets, I got lost in a thread about the lack of feminine supplies available to the women in migrant caravans and totally lost track of time. Much like the boxing glove vendor, it would seem. Turns out, even with Amazon Prime, sometimes you don’t get the things you order in a reasonable time frame. Why, I just ordered a book and it says up to three months for delivery—
MICHAEL: No… I meant WHY BOXING GLOVES?
ALEXANDRA: THAT is what piqued your interest? Not the rubber waders that have been draped over the couch for two weeks? Or the oar in the closet?
MICHAEL: You are an enigma, my cherubic champion of justice. And I like having a little mystery in our relationship. But now that you mention it…
ALEXANDRA: It was for Halloween. We were supposed to go as Roe v Wade but when the boxing gloves didn’t arrive in time…
MICHAEL: Ah! That makes more sense. I was surprised to see your Vagenda of Manocide costume make a reappearance.
ALEXANDRA: ME?! You’ve been Rosie the Riveter for HOW MANY CONSECUTIVE YEARS NOW?
MICHAEL: That week leading up to Halloween was just all too much. In a single week, the president called himself a “nationalist,” his most vocal detractors received pipe bombs via the postal service, a leaked memo showed the administration’s intent to roll back what few protections trans folks have under the law, a murderer paused mid-rampage to say “whites don’t kill whites” while an NBC host said black face is okay, and an anti-Semite with a gun attacked a house of worship on the Sabbath after which our supreme leader suggested that the LACK of guns was to blame before announcing at his rally that evening that while he had considered canceling that night’s event it was because HE WAS HAVING A BAD HAIR DAY.
ALEXANDRA: It almost makes last week’s flurry of election-distraction plots feel like a vacation.
MICHAEL: I just… I’m not going to make it to midterms.
ALEXANDRA: They’re only a day away! If you really want to help it’s phone bank or bust at this point. But don’t worry, there’s an app! And I’ve already signed us up for a shift every hour between now and when the polls close. First we target Illinois; then we focus on Georgia.
MICHAEL: Well, thank heavens for technology. I wouldn’t want the government to have to do any research while compiling their watch lists. I’ll just put all my information and political leanings right into their database for their convenience.
ALEXANDRA: You have a Facebook account. You’ve been on that list for years. Actually, you’re on new lists every time they get hacked!
MICHAEL: Is there nothing pure that we can simply enjoy without fear of its microaggressions or subtext? I need something comforting. What’s our shift to phone bank for Lauren Underwood? Do we have time to grab some avocado toast beforehand?
ALEXANDRA: I’m guessing you weren’t listening to NPR’s Morning Edition when they were talking about blood avocados and how they support the drug cartel.
ALEXANDRA: Speaking of international borders, it’s been another year. We need to swap out anything from the go-bags with expiration dates. And add a bottle of Kittery’s new anti-anxiety meds. Especially since we might end up using them as currency when the dollar loses all value.
MICHAEL: What do you think will happen when the Republicans manage to hold on to the majority?
ALEXANDRA: Don’t you mean “if”?
MICHAEL: Do I? Unless some first world country is going to step in and oversee our election, it looks to me like the hacking, gerrymandering, and voter suppression have this thing pretty locked.
ALEXANDRA: THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, MICHAEL. Find your inner Barack. We’re going to make our calls, fund our candidates, and escort our neighbors to the polls. I’ve been reading a lot about Matthew Sheppard. That was the same year those white supremacists in Texas dragged James Byrd, Jr. behind his truck for three miles until he mercifully died. That entire year was filled with some pretty horrifying headlines, too — school shootings, a president accused of sexual harassment and rape, sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church. Sometimes I wonder if maybe it’s always been this bad and we just weren’t paying attention, that all our outrage fatigue is due to us having spent so many years not strengthening our outrage muscles.
MICHAEL: I read an article recently about how strong and fit elderly Jews tend to be. It made me think of my own grandfather doing chin-ups in the basement every night. “You have to be fit to fight,” he would say. “…and to flee.”
ALEXANDRA: On second thought, let’s keep those boxing gloves.