Wednesday, November 09, 2016

This Is Not The Post I Thought I'd Write Today ...

My body knew.

As the evening wore on, the gnawing sense of dread gave way to actual shaking.

I held on to hope in spite of it, continued watching the returns, even as my mind whispered, "Remember 2004, when you thought that if you just stayed up late enough, John Kerry would prevail?"

About 12:30 a.m., I walked through the house and turned off the lights. I thought about 2008, as the economy began to implode and I lost my job.

Eight years later, I've held onto my house. And I've gotten out of some debt even as I've incurred others.

Now?

I have no idea what's next.

I've spent the last months and weeks and days reassuring my friends that Trump wouldn't win.

In 2008, I was sure McCain would lose.

In 2012, I was sure Romney would lose too.

So surely, in 2016, with the most reprehensible candidate imaginable on the ticket, America would make the upstanding choice.

And last I checked, a majority of us did.

But the popular vote does not decide our presidents.

I was opposed to McCain most of all for Sarah Palin. But at least Sarah has been a governor.

And I was opposed to Romney for a host of reasons. But I never had the sense that if he won, our country would be in danger.

That's what the shaking was last night, though: fear.

So much is now unknown. Will millions of people now lose their health care and once again be unable to afford insurance? Will some of them die as a result? Will women lose their rights to their own bodies? Will my gay friends' marriages be invalidated? Will my Muslim friends be safe? Will my Black friends be safe? Will the millions of Hispanic people who have built lives for themselves here be rounded up and housed in camps until their deportations can be processed? Will people with disabilities have access to care? Will the effects of climate change worsen more quickly? Will I have to pay tolls to travel on newly privatized roads? Will terrorist attacks occur more frequently? Will folks have money to live on who rely on Social Security and retirement savings that are invested in the stock market? Will we reverse so many of the jobs gains we've made in recent years? Will people once again begin to lose their homes? Will any of it matter in the face of a possible nuclear war?

I am immersed in politics, in the deepest end of the civilian pool. I know more than most. Some might say too much.

But did the people who vote for Trump or vote for Johnson or Stein not think of any of this?

My mind won't stop reeling even as the shaking has subsided into a tremble.

Tomorrow, I may be able to think more clearly.

Today, I'm numb.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

At Long, Long Last ...

Dave – L.A. Dave as he's known to most in my world – was the most – I mean the most – die-hard Cubs fan on the planet. Also, he knew everything about everything. So I am very confident that Dave could have sat across from any fan in any bar, nurse a root beer (he didn't drink), and win any trivia contest any day of any week of any year.

He also owned about 400 Cubs hats. Hey, we all need a vice.

The day he died – in 2009 – I wrote a post about him that ends with these words:

"He never saw his team win a World Series. But I’m rooting for him, this year. For them. With Dave up there on their side, how can they not go all the way?"

His family asked if they could use the post as a eulogy at his memorial service. I was beyond honored and touched.

One of his Cubs hats was included in one of the floral arrangements that day.

His mom mentioned that the family wanted some of his friends to have some of his hats and gave me one that day.

I wore it on the 3-Day that year. But mostly, it spends its days on a shelf in the closet by my front door.

Last month, when the Cubs clinched the pennant, I posted this to Instagram and included, "Here's to adding tonight's to the cosmic collection, my friend. Wish you were here."

I didn't know if I could watch the game last night. But then I thought of Dave, looking at me from the great beyond, saying, "You didn't watch?!"

So I watched. And I watched. And rode the roller coaster with all the other Chicago fans. And pondered sleep but stayed awake.

And then, that final play. That throw to first.

And tears.

I remembered a photo that's been in a pocket of my purse for years and years.

This is Dave. In one of his many, many, many hats from his beloved Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs. The 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

At last, Dave.

At last.