I awoke this morning in disbelief of the events of last night. The first thing I did was check the news to make sure that nothing had happened in the middle of the night (or really the wee-small hours of the morning) to make the news media take it back. Last night was maybe the greatest day of my life.
I spent the evening with friends in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and it was decided that those of us from red states (representing Tennessee, Ohio, New Mexico, and Texas) would have to touch a worm from the compost bin if our states didn't go blue. The section of Pennsylvania where I worked turned blue, justifying my blisters and papercuts. Ohio and New Mexico went blue quickly, and my other potential worm toucher and I waited with baited breath. But before they could even declare defeat in our states, something happened. As we flipped channels, ending a period of mocking for Fox News, we were greeted by the caption, "OBAMA DECLARED PRESIDENT-ELECT." Confused and perplexed, we yelled and screamed and flipped through the channels, checked in the Internet and got quiet for one small moment when we collectively realized what this meant. It was then that we heard that cheers from the streets, and joined in. We ran up to the roof, and joined in the revelry...with people running up and down the street, hanging out of windows, jumping up and down on rooftops, horns honking. This was like nothing any of us had ever experienced. We called our friends and family around the country to share our joys. We texted and updated statuses, opened the champagne, still making declarations of disbelief.
We ran back down to watch the speeches, still hearing the woots from the street. Mocked our foe a bit. And waited from Senator Obama to come on. We watched Fox News again, seeing if anyone would throw up. And then we listened to the speech of the president-elect. Our president. Loving those words...Our president.
We decided that we're going to the inauguration, as the music will actually be good this year. And we're too close to not be there for this amazing day. And then we remember that we all had to work tomorrow.
I came to work this morning, hoping for the party to continue on my train ride in. To see someone whose smile was as wide as mine. But everyone was sleepy and unemotional. But at my job it was different. Every conversation has a new optimism. Every mention of the word hope has more meaning. Today is truly a new day, as difficult as any here, but with underlying promise, and a sense of peace that was not here yesterday. Nothing has really changed, but there is something in the air. To quote Mr. Obama "While we breathe, we will hope."