Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I was literally in bed when I heard it start. It was a buzz at first, a slight whisper above the hum of the heater and the fuzz of the white noise machine. But it was noticeable, audible, and getting louder.
It was cheering.
I saw it this morning with the half-entered password - I started to log into my computer to see what happened - was it possible that I wasn't just dreaming, but that we, the people, made history? Knowing that DC has consistently voted blue in past elections, that was the guess.
I stopped logging in and decided to get into the fray - jumped out of bed and pulled on a makeshift outfit, expecting to step outside and back in again - not expecting what I found - pure, incredible, and unbridled joy for the next 4 hours. Who knew I'd spend that time out amongst the revelers, celebrating in my pjs?
Every age, every race, from downtrodden to wealthy, punk rock to preppy - I saw friends and aquaintences and co-workers - whoever it was, we were one people united in happiness. I hugged absolute strangers, kissed one man's hand rather than fist-bump him (not only cause I hate that, but just cause... well, you COULD), and danced in the street from 14th and U, ALL the way down to the White House. The scene was INSANE the entire way - people on busses were dancing and cheering; people hanging out of their car windows and sunroofs were high-fiving those running down the middle of the street - when I cheered out to one stranger in her car, she jumped out, ran up, and gave me one of those high pitched, girly, "ohmygodohmygodohmyGOD" jumping up and down-type hugs.
You can see the picture above, courtesy of my friend Brian, who was standing in the window at Marvin restaurant - people were LITERALLY going nuts, and did not let up on the momentum for hours, hours, hours, HOURS. The crowd at the white house was no different - alternating their chants between "Yes we CAN" and "na na naaa naaa, na na naaa naaa, hey hey hey, GOODBYE". The police, ever vigilantly standing by, needen't have worried - this was delight, this was relief, this was epic bliss.
I've lived in DC all of my life. I've been through 8 presidential elections. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I've never seen ANYTHING quite like this. It was amazing, ferocious, and beautiful pride and joy.
We are fucking stoked.