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My Crusty Shell of Cynicism is Flaking Away

November 5, 2008

This morning, after less than 5 hours of sleep and a larger-than-I-realized amount of alcohol, I was still feeling blissfully tired.  Or tired and still blissed out.  Around lunchtime, the bliss started to run out, so I came home early and had a nice nap.

While I can’t say I’m floating on air anymore (mostly because I’ve been reading hateful screeds from ignorant conservatives about COMMUNIST BLACK MAN COME TO STEAL YOUR HARD-WORKIN’ WHITE PEOPLE MONEY BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!), I’m feeling so relieved and hopeful and deeply, deeply moved.  Like some 78% of Brooklyn, I think.

The party I went to last night was amazing.  Loud and happy and full of both US and Canadian citizens (gotta say, I loves me some Canadians), WASPy types like yours truly, African-Americans, and Jews, native New Yorkers, Southerners, a few midwesterners and west-coasters. 

We bounced back and forth between MSNBC and Comedy Central, and several people had laptops out, tabbing between sites for CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and FiveThirtyEight.  Once the returns started rolling in, the already high-energy group got higher, and laughter was mixed with a few shuddering sighs and the occasional tear.  There was lots of hugging, and good will was more freely-flowing than the cocktails (and man alive, were those freely-flowing).

On the walk back to the subway, we ran across other small groups returning to their homes.  More smiles, and high fives, and whoops of joy.  Sikh taxi drivers on Atlantic Avenue had rolled down their windows and were honking and waving.  A couple of black guys unloading a truck paused their work to laugh with us.  People were literally dancing across the crosswalks.  Strangers of different ages and races and sexes made significant eye contact with each other.  The streets were alive, and there was a huge crowd/drum circle near BAM’s Peter J. Sharp Theatre.  You could hear the roar even in the subway tunnels.

I’m getting a little misty, thinking about it.  And today, what’s slaying me are the reports from around the world.  Millions of strangers are waving American flags, and rejoicing with and for us, after so much division and distrust.  I hope it lasts.  It has to last.

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