I woke up this morning, convinced that it wasn’t real and it hadn’t happened and that I had drank myself into a hopeful alcoholic stupor and the real world would be very dark and gloomy. I bolted to the computer room, and there it was, on the front page of The New York Times: Obama! He won. He won.
I know that this is just the beginning–that there is such a long way to go for America, and so many things to be done, and so much that needs to be addressed, and maybe even half of what has gone wrong with this country cannot be fixed any time soon, and so much of how we have alienated the world can maybe not be taken back. I know that President-elect Obama has got a lot of hope riding him, a lot of expectations, that we’re all standing here in front of him, looking up with shining faces and waiting for him to wave his hand and just fix everything, make everything better, social justice for everyone, and for everyone a good night. An end to war, an end to poverty, an end to taxes and cancer and sadness and standardized tests. He will make it all better!
He might not be able to. But he is going to try, is what I believe, and
that is why I voted for him. This is just the beginning, and it’s going
to be hard but it isn’t anywhere near as terrifying as it was last
night, while we were waiting to hear about who it was, who was going to
have to take this scrambled mess in hand and start sorting through the
chunks, looking for the corner piece with the bit of sky. At nine
o’clock, I looked up from my glass of wine, and I thought it was a
mistake–a picture of Obama, the words 44th President of the United
States written across, in such large letters. “What?” I said. Wait,
what? What just happened?
“The polls closed in California,” E said. “They’re calling it for
Obama.” And right there on the couch I doubled over like I had been
punched in the gut, and I started sobbing on the dog. All that terror
and panic from all those months and weeks and days and hours, draining
out and leaving behind something unrecognizable–relief. Happiness and
complete, bewildered joy. Inspired and thrilled by politics, by my
president, for the first time in so very, very long.
This is why I am letting myself celebrate with the world (looking at those pictures will make you cry) and spin in circles and jump
up and down and randomly shout things like WOO and OH, MY GOD! And YES!
And President MOTHER-FLIPPIN’ OBAMA THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKIN’ ABOUT CAN
I GET A WHAT WHAT?
There will be time enough to worry and start wondering how the hell he
is going to pull it off; right now, I want to enjoy the sensation that
I think is labeled “hope,” which tells me that he just might pull this
right out of his hat.