Friday, January 9, 2009

Waiting to Exhale

I remember it all. Vividly.
I was at East Restaurant Japanese and Asian Fusion (sadly that is the name of the restaurant) in Berkeley Heights. Our reservation was at 7. Two friends and I were going for  one last dinner before one of them left for France. I checked my phone every 29 seconds to see if there was an update on the status of our future.
Then It happened. At 7:27. I was trembling to open it. Yeah- that one I'd been checking for every 29 seconds. Inhale. "McCain up 16-3." Shit. I waited for the exhale but it didn't come. I started typing in "Canadian real estate" on my phone. And Canada sucks. I'm Canadian I'm allowed to say that. No, but really. Sarah Palin, the woman who thinks she has credible and decent foreign policies because she can see Russia from her house, was just one of McCain's last heartbeats away from running the country. I could barely bring myself to finish eating the spider rolls that I had been craving for weeks. And for me not to finish food- wow- it never happens. The rest of dinner I was in such a frazzled state of mind that I had forgotten to check my future entirely, let alone every 29 seconds. I have no idea how I drove home in that state of mind and managed to stay in one piece. 
I raced up the fourteen stairs from the garage and threw myself at the brown leather couch in my living room. My eyes glued to the television. The last thing on my mind was my homework, though it was the first on my mother's mind. Typical. I agreed to go up between poll closing times so I wouldn't miss anything. Within one hour, the polls skyrocketed. Complete reversal, which is actually rather cliche for an election. But anyway- Obama was up 189 to 86 electoral votes. Sarah Palin probably got her shotgun mounted to the wall and started shooting more moose. She may have even been too upset to eat squirrel. 
But at 10 P.M., it was over. Five electoral votes from the traditionally Bush-loving Republican state, Nevada, put Barack Obama to 270 votes exactly. Once again, I found it hard for myself to find the ability to breathe. I closed my eyes and shook my head trying to see if this was actually happening. To see if this country elected an African American man who had been accused of being a "socialist terrorist." But as it turns out, it was reality. It hit me when the words "In America, our destiny is inextricably linked, together our dreams can be one" came from our new President's mouth. America had elected Barack Obama with a majority of 347 electoral votes to 196. I inhaled, but this time I had the ability to exhale.

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