Coming home, Part !!

Coming home doesn’t always get you what you came for, but then, of course, sometimes it does.

Twelve years ago I drove home from the newsroom where I had just started working a few months earlier, and where, to my absolute alienation, my young colleagues were in the process of serenly taking in the news that Florida, which had earlier been given to Vice President Gore, was now being given to Texas Governor George W. Bush. With all the implications that carried for a continuation of the peace and prosperity we had enjoyed during the previous 8 years, as opposed to the unknowns associated with the deliberately ignorant and nepotism-enjoying scion of the blight of the ’80s, the news had hit me hard. Don’t ever play poker, a colleague said as he passed me, your face will give you away. So I sought the comfort of home while Florida was still up in the air, and fell into a merciful sleep while the main squeeze continued to watch the returns from the television at the foot of our bed.

It’s not over, he told me the next morning, and then told me a ridiculous story that made me wonder if he had finally turned the corner from tabloid reporter — his true calling — to delusional victim of his own florid imagination.

It was all true, of course. While the recount, which all of us took turns covering, continued, Thanksgiving passed and then Christmas tree stands went up across the street from the Supervisor of Elections Office. The world watched for 37 days while Republican operatives acting as professional handicappers questioned every ballot working to beat the clock until the patriarch-stacked Supreme Court called time.

I mention that now because at around 10 p.m. last night, November 6, 2012, the main squeeze and I agreed that while the numbers were adding up for our President, it might not matter, that there might be Black Friday sales, Christmas tree stands, maybe New Years in Times Square before what we were waiting for happened — or was taken away.

Anyone who suffers from insomnia might do well to imagine such a scenario. I was snoring within moments of our conjuring it. The main squeeze suffers from insomnia as well as a tendency to deliberate; he turned off the television an hour later.

Some time after that I heard the beep my phone makes when someone texts me. I decided, in whatever dream I was having, not to wake up, sure that it was just the Obama people asking me to send them three dollars for a lawyer to contest the appeal against the recount. Even the thought was enough to send me into a state of temporary brain death.

Then, a little while later another beep. Reflexively, my dream master-of-ceremonies dismissed that interruption as well. Then, after a while — perhaps I turned over, perhaps I counted to two, and realized the Obama legal team wouldn’t have texted me twice — I rolled over and picked up the phone.

“Wahoo!” it said, in a text from my employer up in Washington, who, with the determined realism she had displayed since May, had helped bring  me to the state I had been in, and certainly owed me this now. The first, I saw, was from a Sri Lankan friend in DC, who had written “Florida not in yet, but we are going to bed.”

The main squeeze was snoring like a kitten.

I took the phone and went into the living room where I opened my computer and where the first thing I saw was the text above, from a friend in South Africa. Below it was one from an Iranian-born friend:

There was more — from Australia:

From Ecuador:

from Zambia:

Until I was certain I had gotten what I came home for and it was then I went to wake the main squeeze and tell him it was over.


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