Four days later we took the dogs out to dinner. The plan was made weeks earlier and I asked my husband if we should keep it. “Why wouldn’t we? We can’t just sit at home for the next four years,” he replied.
It was a beautiful patio restaurant and Buddy and Priya were superstars, the only dogs dining on an unseasonably warm night. The atmosphere was festive, even a little disorienting, as though nothing was different even though everything had changed. But it was good to be out and our friends’ teenage daughter kept us delighted with her smarts and charm.
A busboy appeared with two bowls of water, gently petting the dogs’ heads as he knelt down. His skin was brown and English was not his first language. We all thanked him profusely, wanting to convey more.
I wanted to tell him that I knew how weird it was that I was drinking pinot noir and smiling. I wanted to tell him that I felt broken inside. That everyone at my table was filled with sadness.
I wanted to tell him that I would catch his children if they build a wall. I wanted to tell him that I would pull his wife or his husband across, that I will grab his parents’ hands and reach for his brothers and sisters.
I wanted to tell him that we are not all like this, that we have souls and consciences, that we won’t stand for this, that there will be an uprising from people just like me, smiling and eating in his restaurant. I wanted to tell him that I am with him, that I love him.
Instead I find him as we are leaving, press money into his hand and say thank you again.