i'm not even sure i have words for what happened tuesday night.
on the pure logistics/physicality: a lot of standing. and waiting. and just an enormous amount of people. a few security checks and, thank god, a metal detector. it was warm. like, walk-around-in-a-tee-shirt-and-nothing-else warm. in chicago! what alternate universe is this?! and my feet were killing me even though i was wearing comfy gym shoes. and we were thirsty but didn't have water because we'd never have found a porta potty. i got a text that he was underperforming inVA which made me feel sick to my stomach. i had visions of it all unraveling: "but if he doesn't in VA he won't win PA!" ad infinitum. i was happy for the metal detectors because i'm constantly afraid that someone is going to try to hurt him. and once he won PA i knew it was over.
then CNN called it. lots of hugs. part of me probably would have collapsed in a crying fit if i'd had room enough to fall down. my head down, my hands to my face, all i could do was shake my head in disbelief as the tears welled up. but it was a strange feeling. i'd been a huge believer in this guy since his convention speech. there was just never a single doubt in my mind that he was the most skilled politician in a century. i never doubted his temperament or his judgment. i've absolutely always known he was going to pull this out so while i was shocked, i just wasn't, at all. and so i was also relieved but not, because i wasn't ever really worried. i can honestly say i have never been so sure of anything my entire life.
so what followed was a lot of waiting. mccain's acceptance speech came more quickly than i expected and was also more graceful. can't say the same for his audience but he and palin made them that way. if his supporters are assholes he has nobody but himself to blame. feet still hurting. "signed, sealed, delivered" started playing. "sweet home chicago" another couple songs i don't remember. a prayer. the pledge of allegiance. a TERRIBLE rendition of the star spangled banner in which the singer couldn't even remember all the fucking words. was she drunk? feet still hurting. obama arrives. pain in feet disappear. he looks beat down. i don't blame him. it's like, "hey, let me tirelessly work for years to attain what amounts to a huge pile of steaming shit that i now have to make into a sparkly unicorn."
i need to re-watch the speech. though it was loud and clear, my mind was in a million places. i was on my tippy toes to get pictures of him at the podium over the heads of some tall people in front of us. parts of it were things i'd heard a million times before. and part of me just didn't think any words would represent that moment. not even words from obama.
leaving was a crazy experience. every street for close to a mile was closed. people danced and sang in the middle of the streets and there were so many people. it felt like the new york city blackout all over again. a city stopped dead in its tracks, taken over by pedestrians. joyful, tearful, liberal pedestrians all wearing obama gear. it was a utopia.
but now the real stuff starts. can someone so smart with such good decision-making skills even fix this? i'm happy that he talked about how this mess may not even be fixed in a term because that shiz is true. so for those expecting a savior, he's not. but he's our best chance of getting out of this mess in one piece. if such a thing is even possible.
and to cap of the 6 most surreal hours of my life, i get to the airport, plop down right in front of the chek-in counter, and double-take the guy sitting to my right. holy shit! david remnick! holy shit!
so damn weird. i wanted to ask where he'd been last night (probably in the VIP pen with oprah). i wanted to ask what the deal was with the blacks killing civil rights legislation for a minority group (i shed another tear for prop 8 this morning). i wanted to ask if ben mcgrath was single because not only is he my favorite writer at the new yorker, he's also young enough to be a bachelor. but it was early. i didn't have my wits about me. and i had bed head. and i was also in the new york mode of barely acknowledging celebrities because fawning over them makes you look silly and uncool. as if me fawning over the editor of a magazine not titled vogue doesnt already make me silly and uncool in and of itself. i am a HUGE dork. not sure why i pretend to be otherwise sometimes.
photos coming soon.