07 November 2008

a day in a surreal life

surreal - having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic

today is friday. tuesday was three days ago. it feels like three weeks. and i'm three weeks of tired in three days...

this week has been a whirlwind of epic proportion. i'm in the middle of a tornado, and it's not the eye.

on tuesday, we won. the collective we made a statement to the country and the world that we are different. we have torn down the barriers of race, worked through the hate and bigotry, said 'no' to the failed policies of george w. bush, and made it abundantly clear that we want change.

on tuesday, i won. i won the greatest achievement of my life. for the first time in my entire life, i gave my _everything_ and found, at the end of a long, exhausting and great journey, that giving everything can and does pay back in spades. i won. though my contributions, in the grand scheme of things, are/were fairly miniscule, i know i made a difference. and i couldn't be more proud that i did change the world (a little bit). i know this, even if i can't really feel and know what that means.

winning the election is and was the greatest feeling of accomplishment i've ever known. the sweet taste of victory still lingers, three days later. but it was seeing indiana turn blue that gave me a real and personal sense of unrivaled pride and joy. it was the most rewarding piece of the electoral thumping we handed to the republican party. and it will be with me till the end of my days. indiana went blue. indiana. i did that. obviously i wasn't alone as it took a large army of soldiers of change, but i was a big part of that, and it makes it all the more personal.

in the three days since tuesday, i have had a conference call with barack obama in which he praised this victory as "ours" and said that he expected to see many of us in washington in january, i applied for one of those washington positions, hopped onto a plane to san francisco to get back to that day job work i've long been relegating to the back burner, ran a meeting i've been anticipating for weeks, and booked a trip to spend a week in paradise with hallway boy (though he's the one that did the actual planning and booking of that trip).

i'm tired. i'm emotionally and mentally drained. it hasn't even registered (not really) that this journey has ended, that this thing is over, that we won, that barack obama is our next president. i'm swirling about some cloudy, beautiful dream in which america and i have taken a step in the right direction, but can't even wake up enough to truly savor what that means, or where i play in to whatever comes next. i'm simply floating in the peripheral wave of the celebratory mood of our country, without allowing its meaning, its end, and its beginning to really sink in...

i think i'm just stuck in the blues of what now. i'm three days this side of tuesday and i don't know who or what i am or what and who i'm meant to be and how i'm meant to play a role in the world we're destined to change. i just know i'm tired, i can't see through the fuzz of the past week and the past nine months, and i can't see tomorrow or any day beyond... 'what now?' is all i really see, know, and feel. what now???

04 November 2008

game day

i'm sitting in ballroom in the basement of the century plaza hotel, surrounded by at least 200 volunteers, who've made more than 30,000 calls in the past seven and a half hours. the energy in this room is almost as exhilarating as the remarkable scene before me. just close your eyes and imagine a room full of 200 people, in all different sizes, shapes, colors, and background. accents a plenty, representing cities and countries around the world, white middle-aged business men in their suits and ties sitting next to young african american athletes in their ucla sweatpants. big-name actors camped out next to small store clerks, retired folks, and kids who've taken the day off high school. a room truly representative of the melting pot this country claims to be, making calls to elect Barack Obama our next president.

i'm pretty sure this is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen in my life. not just this moment, not just this day, not just this gotv weekend, but the whole thing. the whole journey. this campaign, rooted in the grassy knolls of every hill in america, is about folks of all walks of life choosing hope over fear, unity over division, and the promise of change over the power of the status quo. it's about all of us choosing america's better history. today.

no matter what happens today (though all bullshitting aside, i will be more devastated than i've ever been if we don't win this thing), something extraordinary has been happening in america these past twenty months. we've seen communities coming together for the betterment of neighborhoods, cities, the country, our families and our own selves. i've been here for nine months of it, have seen it with my own eyes, and felt something magical stirring in my own soul. this is the america i want to call home, americans i want to call my friends and family, this is a place i can be proud to call my country, and i hope and pray with every exhale of breath that we win today.

we have to win today. it's our time. it feels right. it feels necessary. it feels now. it feels like we really are one people, believing in and fighting for the country we can just glimpse through the tunnel of darkness, at the end of which lies that higher ideal where equal opportunity exists, and every american has the potential to be its best and brightest. and that together, we can do this. YES WE CAN!

we're almost there. it's 2pm on the west coast. i'm 10 hours into today. the polls will start closing in a coupla hours on the east coast. i'm reminding myself to keep breathing, and i'm fighting back tears with every ounce of resolve i can muster. the finish line is there. i can see it. i can feel it, the final stretch of a long and stormy race...

02 November 2008


it's my 4th and final gotv for this campaign. i spent this afternoon and evening helping to set up for tomorrow and tuesday's big, official phone bank at the century plaza hotel. my job is the on-site motivator. cuz that's what i do best. and i have to be "on" for the next 48 hours. i report for duty at 5:30 tomorrow morning, and i'll be there till wednesday, getting out the mother fucking vote.

this is a real mixed moment for me. as i've discussed is great and painful detail in prior blogs, this gotv weekend marks the end of the greatest journey of my life. and that thought terrifies me. but i am so excited that a new dawn is about to break for america, and for me, that i look to tuesday with as much joyful anticipation as i do fearful.

i can hear and feel the excitement on meet the press, i feel in the air, i could see it in the faces of people responding to the shirts hallway boy and i wore today (we were obama'd out while running around), i feel it deep in my soul. i'm still scared shitless that dems won't get to the polls on tuesday, and even though it's frazzled at its ends, my faith is feeling very strong. and i feel that this isn't just another presidential election, it's not about a man running for office, but this is a time in america's fate where a new leadership is meant to take the reigns, a younger, fresher, open-minded, and courageously daring america, governed of the people, by the people, and for the people. the people of today. the people who see the modern world for what it is, who know and understand the internet, a global economy, and that diplomacy is a more effective means of spreading democracy than a damn stupid war. i mean, an evolved mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially for such nonsense as oil, money, and greed.

so, assuming my gut's not too far off, looks like the dems will have a chance to begin to crack away at the wall of shit george bush and cronies have built around america, and that a new light will soon begin to emerge. that can only mean that a bright new light will emerge for me as well...

i keep saying this, but when i look to my future, i still have no idea what to see on the other side of tuesday. no idea at all, cept for the very near short-term.

i will go back to my day job, which has been on the back-burner for the past few months and needs a lot of my attention. i've got a novel sitting on my coffee table that i'm committed to sending out by the end of this year (yep, december 31. right here, in writing, novel off my table, out of my hands, into the universe, by the end of this year). and i've got some loose ends in need of tying in my personal life. add to that, a resume tossed into the stack of wanna-be obama administration staffers, and i've got potential roads going every which way. it seems i am going to have to tend to some decisions, instead of jumping off cliffs and hoping for a smooth landing.

i know what i want. it's what i've wanted all along. i want to write, i want to travel a lot, and i want to do it with my lover and our kids. now i've got to make the desisions that get me there the right way... or i guess i could just close my eyes and jump off another cliff...