Wednesday, November 05, 2008


It was Election Day yesterday. I woke up and showered and dressed.

I slapped an "I Voted" sticker on my vest. I voted the day prior, but saved the sticker for Election Day. I drifted through the day. At 12:49 p.m. the friend D. sent me a text message. "Feeling any Election Anxiety?" I replied, "None." It was true at the time.

When returns started to be made known from the East Coast, then I could feel the anxiety begin to invade. Gray states became blue states and red states. Some were light blue. Some were pink. Some were navy. Some were crimson. Some remained gray.

I drifted between television and computer. I switched between channels: CNN, ABC, C-Span, MSNBC. I even peeked in at Fox News, although Brit Hume makes me want to vomit. I jumped from tab to tab in Firefox:,,,,

I watched the child play with thirty-year-old Barbie dolls as our living room was filled with the voices of pundits. The child kept asking, "Who's winning?" "I don't know." "Is it that old guy?" "No. He probably won't win anyway." "I want him to win." "Well, we want the other guy, Barak Obama to win." "Well, I want the other guy to win then." Isn't that the way of politics?

I searched the sky at dusk for portents prior to arriving home. I couldn't read the clouds. Their mysteries remained unknown to me.

I soothed myself with bologna and sharp cheddar cheese and Lindt dark chocolate containing oranges and the thinnest shavings of almonds.

I read the child bedtime stories. I tucked the child into bed and returned to the living room. I drank Duchesse de Bourgogne, a sour Flemish red ale, while snacking on meat and cheese and chocolate, and lounging about in my sweat pants and long-sleeved T-shirt.

I listened to the concession speech of Senator John McCain. I listened to the victory speech of President-elect Barack Obama.

I finished my beer and drifted off to bed, exhausted. To read. To sleep. To dream of Election Day.


"Now it was possible an America of 250 million different Americas that did not know if they were black or white, slave or slaveowner, righteous or evil, just meant to be finished with Bill Clinton and Bob Dole once and for all and start over, much like Lincoln who, realizing the first America was beyond salvation, secretly created a second America out of the Emancipation Proclamation and his speeches at Gettysburg and his second inauguration. It was possible that the unspoken collective will of some secret country had resolved after 250 million secret Antietams, Shilohs, Chancellorsvilles, Vicksburgs, Bull Runs, Chickamaugas, Cold Harbors and Gettysburgs, that the second America was beyond salvation and now a third was to be created, perhaps with the election in the year 2000 of the man America had really wanted in 1996, and who refused."
—page 240, American Nomad by Steve Erickson

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