Last night, just after 11pm Barack Obama became the next PRESIDENT of the United States and at around 1am I met Bobby... Now before you let your mind run, this isn't a gay love story, or some Brooklyn version of Brokeback Mountain. It is, however, a story about how this monumental moment in history can CHANGE us all.
As a political junkie, I wanted to be out at one of the many election parties around New York City. I wanted to be at one of the bars on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, where people packed in to watch the poll results and took turns buying rounds of beers for their friends and strangers alike. But as a working father with an active 17 month old boy, who gets to work at 5:30 am, I chose to sit at home with my lovely wife and watch this historic moment on my 52 inch...
WAIT!...52 inch? The biggest moment in history and I'm at home watching it transpire on my 52 inch instead of being in the thick of the excitement? You see, this is weird for me because people like me (political junkies, that is) don't get hyped for the world series; we don't care who wins the Superbowl, unless we happen to live in the state of one teams playing; and we stopped watching the NBA finals after Jordan retired...the second time. For people like me, those 20+ debates were our playoffs and last night was our Superbowl, and anyone who's not at somebody else's house party during the Superbowl is a looser (or at least feels that way).
Anyway, I turn off the TV at around 12:45 am and prepare to turn in for the night... the gravity of Baracks win not having hit me yet. I take off my pants and get ready to jump in the bed , but then I hear it... I hear car horns honking... I hear people screaming... I hear the infectious joy that of a group of people feel when they've just watched their team win the Superbowl and I had to be a part of it. I had to see it and touch it.
I slipped on my pants and told my wife, "I'll be right back". I dash out the house and, like magic, the significance of this moment in history energizes me. I'm excited, buzzing like a cat with cat-nip, so much so that I can't stand to wait for the elevator. I run down 12 flights of stairs and the screams and honks grow louder as I step outside the lobby. A couple of people are talking to the building security guards with subtle glows on their faces. I smile as I rush past them, and as I made my way toward Myrtle Ave. I felt like I was walking to the center of Times Square on New Year's Eve... So did Bobby.
Bobby was leaving my building around the same time as me. Bobby was walking toward Myrtle Ave. like me. Bobby had the same look of pride on his face that I wore on mine. He was black like me and even has dreads (dreadlocks) like me... Bobby and I had a kindred spirit, but like so many of us do each day, we walked in the same direction, wanting to spread this effervescent feeling of goodwill, yet didn't speak to one another. But there was something about this moment in history that mandated a CHANGE in our behaviors and our kindred spirits were forced together by the weight of history... history of days gone and days yet to come.
"Hey, hows it goin?"
It was like the mere act of speaking to one another didn't just break ice, it broke down a wall of cynicism that had slowly been erected in our minds. Like so many people, we wanted to reach out to one another but didn't because we were unsure that we were living in a world where we could trust enough to do so. How many of us are unable to speak to people we see in our elevators daily because our communal spirit has been dampened by a sense that things will go to "hell in a hand basket" as soon as we let our guard down... De La Soul's Posdnous said it best on the song Stakes Is High
Neighborhoods are now hoods, cause nobody's neighbors, just animals surviving with that animal behavior.
After a few exclamations about how big this election is, it happened. "Hey, my name's Bobby, by the way"... "Law" I replied. and just like that Bobby and I were now neighbors. Last night, I had only planned to walk a block, but as we talked and screamed and cheered with all of the other new neighbors, I ended up walking 3.
Article by: LAW
Nov. 5th 2008