In my early 20s, I worked as a full-time nanny. I lived in Trump Tower, on 5th Avenue in New York City. This was a time before smartphones and selfies.
Trump Tower was one of two sites of anti-Trump protests yesterday in New York City. I saw the pictures and thought about how, during one period in my life, I walked in and out of those front doors off of 5th Avenue every day.
During that time of my life I didn’t think a whole hell of a lot about politics. Or social justice issues. Or US presidential campaigns.
I definitely wasn’t thinking one damn thing about US immigration. All of the types of privilege that I was rocking allowed for me to stay lost in my cluelessness.
There were two doormen who I saw on a regular basis, due to my schedule. One was a lovely older gentleman from Ireland. We talked soccer and the weather. He liked to make me laugh.
One afternoon, I got in the elevator with my Irish buddy. And then he held the elevator door for someone else.
Mr. Donald J. Trump hopped on. He eyed me and I eyed him back. I was in that phase of my life of miniskirts and combat boots and a surly attitude.
The doorman introduced me to Mr. Trump, who proceeded to ask me if I lived here, in his building. I told that him that I did, that I was a full-time nanny. He joked that he would look me up if he ever needed another one.
I turned to my Irish buddy and asked him how his team did in the latest match.
My buddy was surprised. This was the man who this building was named after. Maybe so, but I didn’t like his vibe. Mr. Trump was impressed that, “a girl knew about soccer.”
I amused him.
I got off before Mr. Trump. Only one of us lived on the penthouse floor of his building.
I was thinking about this time today, because, apart from the fact that I took a ride in an elevator with Mr. Trump, my memories from that time are also dominated by all of the immigrants who worked for him in his building. Due to the nature of my position, I saw the front and the back of the house. And this house was full of immigrants, from all over the world.
And I’m sure, this being the early 90s in New York City, that there were undocumented immigrants who lived and worked in Trump Tower. Including the family that I worked for.
I don’t think that my Irish buddy is working there any more. He was already up in his years when I lived there in the early 90s.
But today I’m thinking about who built that skyscraper for Mr. Trump and who keeps it running.
And who could make it all grind to a stop.