I don’t remember people’s reactions when Clinton was elected. I remember being angry, in a trendy “Everyone hates on Bush” way, after the election in 2000. In 2004, I almost left the country. But in none of those elections did I understand, as I only begin to now, the chain of events that starts with this one crazy night. I wanted to try to document the range of emotions I’ve seen people around me go through as the election ended and in the past day or so.
The day of the election, while I was bouncing off the walls with excitement and anxiety, people at the office seemed really calm. Someone even said to me, “I wonder who will win, but really, it’s not like it can get any worse.”
When it was all over, I could hear people outside my apartment screaming, honking, and generally celebrating. Even though you could see the same happening on the TV, it was cool to know that people around me were so emotionally involved in this election.
Yesterday a friend told me that when he looks at the people around him, they seem happier. They have hope.
This morning I got into a conversation on the train with a middle-aged black woman. She spoke about how she never thought she would see a black President of the United States. About what this means for everyone, “but especially for minority kids.” She was practically glowing as she spoke of a friend who is 106 years old, and has lived through so much radical change.
I often hear people complain about how hard emotions are to read off a computer screen. I find it rather easy. Everything I read seems to be charged with the energy of change. Whether its because he’s black, a Democrat, Internet-savvy, or just the lesser of two evils, a lot of people seem to be thinking happy thoughts.
Now all we need is some pixie dust.