"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


The Day I Saw Barack Obama.

So today sucked. Sucked. I had to work today. My train came in time, but then we all had to get off for who knows what reason. We waited 30 more minutes, and then squished ourselves onto a very crowded train. I got to work 10 minutes late and opened up. The wave of people expecting me to social work for them came in, but I said 'Oh wait. I've got to go make lunch," making good use of my graduate degree. I made a tasty tuna salad, complete with the most pungent onion known to man. Was berated by a staff person for another program, because people drank 2 cups of the coffee that she had put out in the cafeteria for people to drink two hours later. Was told that no one wanted my tuna sandwiches. Cleaned up after lunch, and went back to the office. Continued my streak of stopping people from using racial slurs when responding to their internal dialogues. Helped someone make some copies. Closed the place down. Did some work that should've been done yesterday by someone else. Walked back to the train to find that it wasn't running in my direction, so I took a ride uptown to run some errands, hoping that I could get to a stop that my train would be running from. I bought some stuff and went down to the subway, found that my train was not running there either. Got off the train and walked up the block to get a burrito. Had a mediocre, expensive burrito, and then I walked up 6th Avenue again hoping to find a way to get home. As I walked up the block a crowd had begun to gather, and traffic had been blocked off for all of 6th Avenue.

I, very unlike myself, stopped to observe and see if I could figure it out. And then I noticed the clear blue sky. And then a police helicopter. Then 50 or so cops go by on motorcycles. And then some dark cars with dark tinted windows just light enough to see the faces of the people inside. The people in front of me said, "He must be in the second car." I look up and see in the second car a very familiar face. "What?!?!" I said loudly in my head. "That's Barack Obama." And then he was gone. The scene on the street afterward is my favorite part. We all stood there for a moment and then started slowly walking up the block again, but our smiles are wider, our hearts are lighter. Some people have yet to be able to move, but stand there hand on chest in besotted sigh. Others call their friends, their moms. "Mama! I just saw Barack!" It was like a cross between those pictures of the screaming girls at Beatles' concerts and the "We Got Annie!" scene in Annie. I'm gonna call it We Got Barack. Holy cow! Those 30-seconds are so worth the crappy 8 hours that preceded them.

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