Could anyone please help me with the meanings of the bracketed phrases and sentences:
We old women are easily erased from the picture of the last century. We're (an entire demographic grouping of Trotskys). Like the once (dapper Jew), we too stand with (nonchalant unease) at the base of that wooden pulpit, hastily erected on the platform of the Finland Station. ......(If only we'd kept our Trotsky costume on, not loaned our shoes to Lenin, then we wouldn't be facing this airbrushing out, this undeveloping, this eternal deletion.)
an entire demographic grouping of Trotskys- a whole group who all look like Trotsky (all wearing simialr clothes)
dapper = well-dressed, usually expensively.
(nonchalant unease) - nonchalant means without caring. We normally say 'nonchalant ease', so here it suggests they are faking
If only we'd kept our Trotsky costume on, not loaned our shoes to Lenin, then we wouldn't be facing this airbrushing out, this undeveloping, this eternal deletion.- I'm not entirely sure- Trotsky used to be in a different party, then joined Lenion. Maybe she means that if they had continued to support Trotsky, they (old women) would have had geater importance, instead of which, they were ignored by Lenin. This is the only meaning I can think of, unless the writer is talking about a movie.