Last Friday at the Lyceum, a banquet facility in Terryville, democracy was celebrated as Donald J. Trump, a real estate developer from New York was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Republicans from the surrounding communities, including Bristol and Forestville, came together to cheer and dance to “Happy Days are Here Again.” It was the best of times.
Meanwhile in Forestville, a funereal atmosphere governed a separate banquet hall. The hall was reserved before the election to celebrate what was supposed to be Hillary Clinton’s easy victory over Trump. But now, it was draped in black curtains with the local head of the Democrat party Dean Kilbourne dressed in black, sitting Shiva as supporters offered condolences. It was the worst of times.
Back in Terryville, the victors feasted on chicken breast, roast beef and gravy, mixed vegetables and pasta dishes. They satisfied their pallets with cookies, ice cream and cake. They boasted of Trump, Reagan and their triumph. Standing as one they felt the passion of life.
The solemn banquet hall marked the start of seven days of mourning for the losers. The mourners vowed not to shave, bathe or shower, wear leather shoes or jewelry, and cover their televisions, except to watch comfort documentaries by PBS on how great they are.
As the night came to a close at the Lyceum, the victors toasted with Russian Vodka to all things Trump, executive orders, alternative facts and a bright and prosperous future. Andrew Howe, one of the organizers of the party, summoned the words of Charles Dickens to capture the moment ‘”We have everything before us.'”
A mere 6.5 miles away, notable democrats Calvin Brown, Mary Fortier, and Ellen Zoppo-Sassu sadly filed out of the Shiva to an uncertain future. Pausing at the door, Ellen gained her strength and addressed her colleagues about times of crisis by quoting Dickens, ‘“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.’”
With that they each flipped some coins into the bucket setup for the Clinton Foundation and disappeared into the night.