I read it minutes before a work call. The headline: “Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of federal abortion rights.” Ugly tears streamed down my face as I opened the zoom, making sure not to turn on my camera. I struggled to focus. All I could think was how I hoped that physicist who postulated we were all living in a simulation was right. At least it would mean none of this was real.

It’s dark thought, especially for me. Even as I’ve watched the US retract into celebrating rather than condemning prejudice and ignorance, I’ve hoped we would someday rise from the ashes of this current dystopia. The idea of wishing to be in a simulation meant I prefer a fake world to reality.

Can you blame me? Let’s be honest. Right now, reality sucks. This ruling doesn’t just set the clock back, it breaks the hands.

I could go on and on about how the system is rigged against the majority. I could rant about the Supreme Court being just another political entity ruled by bias under the guise of law. I could point out how the people who complain about freedom-impinging mask and vaccine mandates are the very people who support restricting freedoms for women (and any non-White, non-Christian minorities and the LGBTQ community, the list is long). Other people can rant these rants much more eloquently than me.

On a day like today, what I can do is document. This is a pretty significant moment for women and I’m a woman. I can record what this feels like. I can do that.

My best friend called me minutes before my work call. We blurted out phrases filled with disbelief and resignation. We said things like, “it’s official, we’re returning to the dark ages” or “and right on the heels of a slap-in-the-face gun law ruling.” Given we both live in southern states, we debated which one of us was “more screwed.”

We both knew this ruling was coming, but we also share an unrelenting positive, hopeful side we cannot seem to shake. We thought, maybe, just maybe…

I knew deep down there was no logical reason to hope because logic and reason are no longer part of the American zeitgeist. They’ve been replaced by people who put their fingers in their ears when someone tries to provide facts or truth.

Still, my hope isn’t something with wings, to paraphrase Emily Dickinson. My hope is a tired arm clasping a rock while the river rushes backward into the past. I’ve clung to that rock, hoping that more of America will wake up to the hate and discrimination spewing from the conservative minority like a volcano spreading its destructive, time-freezing ash.

It’s been a few hours now since I read the news about overturning Roe v. Wade. I keep thinking about how tenuous our freedoms are and how incredible it is that six people, who are nothing like me, get to determine my choices, or lack thereof.

Only injustice has been served today from people who call themselves justices. And with it, America, my once beloved, has let me down again. I don’t recognize her anymore. She was never perfect, but she used to make a zigzag motion of progress. Now she’s performed a complete reversal, a backward juggernaut toward fascism.

If someone is in charge of this simulation, that entity is clearly a sociopath. But we’re probably not in a simulation. This is a cold reality for women and we all know it won’t end here.

My best friend and I parted ways on the phone with so much left to lament. The brief five minutes we spoke contained the magnitude of the day and the utter futility of our own helplessness. It’s hard to move forward when the place you’re standing is constantly moving back.

Hanging up the phone left me feeling cold and empty. For a moment, together, we had a shared outrage. Now I’m just alone with this outrage and nowhere to point it. I honestly don’t know what to do next. I’ve written this blog. I haven’t written a blog post in well over a year. Reality sapped me of the spark that makes me want to create and write. Anger and frustration are so constant they’ve become the norm. It took something very extreme to tug me back here. I’d say for better or worse, but it is clearly for worse.

Maybe I’ll feel differently tomorrow. But, on this dark day, June 24, 2022, I’m steeling myself for the possible inevitability that the sociopath in charge of this simulation only rewards the oppressors with life, liberty and happiness.