Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Last night, friend Kurt hosted a "Swing State" party. He prepared Virginia ham, Colorado beer, New Mexico salsa, key lime pie and other tasty treats. I was in a strange mood all day, and the party felt surreal, but I knew it was going to be a momentous evening, and I wanted to make sure I was with friends, and in the heart of New York City.
In preparation, I took my iPhone and its power chord, and a laptop and ITS power chord. This seemed like overkill at first, but I was pleased to see people on my computer when I came back from a 45 minute break. It really is the case that the internet supplements what we see on TV.
As soon as Obama's win was confirmed, there was a roar on the streets that didn't stop. I didn't get to sleep until 3AM. People cried, including yours truly. I was texting, emailing and Twittering with friends across the country and the globe, as we all celebrated the moment together. (For the skeptics, it's moments like this that make email and the internet so important).
The street parties ran until dawn. As we walked, we ran into groups of people who would spontaneously cheer and high five each other. I wonder how many romances were born last night? I saw a man driving around and around the streets, honking the car of his horn in 3 short busts. He was black. Eventually I realized he was trying to say: "Yes we can," via his car. So we shouted to him, and he honked back and waved, and then went on to share the moment with someone else. People drove by in cars waving Obama signs out of the windows. Happy cab drivers shepherded their fares while honking. Police would whiz by, stare down groups of people who would simply scream and shout happily back. The cops would go away. I have never, ever seen a street party in New York city like this and it was wonderful. It feels a bit like New Year's day.
It was a good evening. I only regret that I was not registered to vote in California this year, so I could add my voice to the chorus of "Nos" voting against Proposition 8, whose passage I find strange, and punishing to a group of people who have contributed so much to our culture. It makes no sense. But after last night, I have faith that eventually Americans will do right by their gay brothers and sisters, and the right kind of change will come about. It will simply take time.
(Edited to add: apologies for the listless quality of my writing. I'm absolutely exhausted today).