It's 6:00 p.m. central time, I'm on the couch next to my wife, in my pajamas with a load of Pad Thai on the way, a bottle of red wine on the coffee table, and in case of a nasty surprise, a 30-pack of Pabst in the refrigerator.
A number of people have asked me if I'm downtown at the Grant Park rally. I've told them that everybody I know is hunkering down to contemplate the evening privately. (One says he's sitting in an armchair with a mirror, "In case McCain wins, to see the look on my fucking face.")
I'm going to "live blog" in an old-school manner, merely adding to this entry every time the spirit moves me.
We'll see how it goes.
Cristie says about live blogging, "What the hell? Are other assholes live blogging? You know I hate the sound of your typing. Okay, we'll fucking try it."
My pal Paul called. He's starved for information—he's driving voters to polls and delivering voting results from polls, and there's no time to keep up with the results—and sick to his stomach with worry. Says he'll "despair" if "we lose." We, to him, being good smart fuckers, "them," by definition, being bad dumb fuckers. (Sorry I'm swearing so much. Sorry that I'll continue to do so.)
Today was an interesting day. I spent the afternoon doing some very pleasant research for an article I'm writing on black golf in Chicago. Played with a threesome of old black dudes on Joe Louis golf course on the South Side. They'd caddied there in the late 1950s as kids. They said the golf course was pretty much the same then as it is now. "White in the morning, black in the afternoon," Jimmy put it. "Mulligans in the morning, Mandellas in the afternoon." We talked a lot about the history of blacks in golf—pioneers, like Teddy Rhoades, Lee Elder and Charlie Sifford—and the only reference to today's election came when Johnny sliced one into the woods and I gratuitously declared the shot as far right as John McCain.
McCain's giving his last statement on MSNBC, fond remarks to the boys on the Airbus, tinged with great sadness, not seeming to have to do with the looming results, but simply with the end of a joyful ride. McCain may not be a happy warrior, but he is, I think, a happy traveler. And, I've told Scout, is a good thing to be. On cue, Scout runs in and yells, "Daddy, did Barack Obama win?"
Axelrod is on, talking about how things will look at "the end of the day." He reveals that Obama played his traditional basketball game with staff today, and is spending quiet time at home with his family. Just as I would want to do. I strain to imagine what it must be like at that kitchen table. Sweet Jesus, this reminds me of the dream I had a few nights ago, where I kissed Obama on the head and we wept together in humility and hope.
Steve Crescenzo help me.
Georgia to McCain. I think of being in a bar in northern Alabama on a Sunday morning a couple weeks ago, watching an old guy (as I uncharitably imagined him thinking in disbelief) watch one nigger endorse another nigger for president of the United States of America.
Live shot in Grant Park. Every police officer in Chicago on duty is here, the report says.
Check e-mail. Three. All from Crescenzo. He hopes I choke on the pad thai, and declares, "I love you. Even though you're tiresome and gross."
Chuck Todd, the only MSNBCer who I wouldn't call tiresome and gross—but who has been calling the race an Obamarama for at least two weeks—just said what he's seeing so far looks like 2000 and 2004: a "tight presidential race."
FOX just reported that Ohio has gone to Obama. My dad, born in Middleltown, Ohio, has voted in his life for Dewey, Eisenhower, Eisenhower, Nixon, Goldwater, Nixon, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush … and then in 2004, Kerry. And in the last vote of his life, now he's voted for Obama. All isn't right in my world, but that much is. (Are you watching this shit, Mom?)
Peoples Gas just called—yes, there's no apostrophe—and informed us that our gas bill is 30 days overdue.
New Mexico to Obama, Chuck Todd sounding better, live shots of Grant Park: I wish I was there but I kind of feel like I've been there before. Whereas, I've never been here before. In 1992, my colleague John Cowan walked into the office on a fall Wednesday and I asked him routinely how he was, and he said, "Great—for the first time in 12 years." I was 23, and felt sorry for him for feeling so personally connected to this bullshit political stuff.
Chris Matthews says, "It's great to see America surprising the world again, in a positive way."
Paul just called again. I may go downtown yet.
How long has it been since I felt this emotionally close with my wife?
The wine is gone, and I'm moving to the beer.
Virginia went for Obama, it's over. Eugene Robinson, when he tells his sons they can be anything they want, is "now telling the truth." I haven't focused on the race part of this, but instead, class and intellect and emotional I find his point, all this raw racial stuff that's had my ghetto schoolteacher wife crying all day, oddly shocking.
During McCain's really graceful concession speech—and I'm sure unaware of it—a 25-year-old African American teacher colleague of Crisitie texts from Grant Park, "FUCKING HISTORY."
Teacher's assistant Anissia reports from Jackson Boulevard and Sacramento Street that "everybody's out on the block." She doesn't want to come to work tomorrow. ("I'd say it's 50/50," Cristie says.)
Hercedes, who's 22 now but whom Cristie taught starting in 7th grade, texts, "Welcome 2 the good life."
I'm watching Obama's speech at my neighbor's house and my night is about to wink shut. Good night—Good. Night. to all who love me, to all I love.