Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Happened Last Night

We were dancing in the streets last night. We were throwing arms around strangers’ shoulders and talking earnestly about what we’ve been called to do, all of us. We were lined up facing each other, maybe once it was a firing line but last night, no, it was dancing, cheering as cars processed between us. We were cheering the garbage men, the hipsters on bikes, even the cops (cheering even when they gave us citations for public drinking)—in short, we were cheering ourselves, because we did this, we—not our parents and not our grandparents, but we—made this happen.

Everything was spontaneous but still had a feeling of a being on a stage. First we stood on Flatbush and cheered and cars honked back their love. We stopped people on the street and gave our love; we gave high fives and what-the-fucks and hosannahs and maybe-it-aint-all-shits.

There was talk of Going East, where the Black People live, because we all knew this is theirs first. Then we got it in our heads: Go East!: because one day we all went West, but we bounced off a wall a hundred years ago, and since then been we’ve been reverbing in Wasilla or some such shithole Wal-Mart parking lot. But now we go Back East: we reclaim. It’s ours. Or so we all thought last night. So we went East, so far as Vanderbilt and Soda Bar at least, an ersatz outpost now certifiably New Brooklyn. And they, Old Country, came West, they whose this is. And we stood on opposite sides of the streets for a while, then we crossed over and we loved and danced and cheered.

When we woke up this morning, we knew we had something: This is ours, all of ours. But more important, for the first time in our lives we knew that such a thing as we actually exists. The birth of the Obama Generation.

1 comment:

micah said...

I don't want this comment to be taken as an endorsement of your stream of conscious writing style or your mixed up phraseology, you crazy beatnik, but I wanted to share the thing that will stick with me the most.

Walking up the hill, somewhere between Flatbush and Vanderbilt, on one of those nice Brownstone blocks that remain a little less gentrified than the ones a bit further down the slope, we passed a young couple parking their car and unloading their kids. The car was not a Volvo or a Beamer, they were not putting the kids into Bugaboos, these were folks from the neighborhood, getting home close to 1am on Election night.

The mother was smiling ear to ear when we came past, reveling with everybody else. Amidst all the cheering and high fives, she said 'We just took our children to Times Square!' I've never seen anyone so happy, so excited, so sure they had just witnessed history, and so confident that things are going to get better.