Outside the gales of November are finally blowing in earnest, and rain lashes the windows. The weather has been unusually warm (think almost a million comfortable celebrants in Chicago's Grant Park last night), and we even had t-storm warnings up north today. This wind was tossing leaves and litter last night, as we shopped after dinner, and I joked with my husband -- "It's the winds of change, sweetie" -- which got a laugh. We were excited about the election, and weren't disappointed.
In spite of gray skies I waltzed around in a pretty good mood today, feeling very hopeful and pleased with my country for a change. I realized on the bus ride in this morning that my husband and I have been married 11 years, and 8 of these years have been dominated by George W. Bush and all he hath wrought. "Love in the Time of Cholera." Without so much literary value. We drank our way through the last of the Clinton era, and watched helplessly when an academic friend (an expert on genocide) burst into tears after Bush was elected. "People are going to die!" she wailed. War, she meant. Aggression, ignorance, suffering. And she was right, too right and almost immediately. She already knew too much about the American public. We drank and cursed W, and drank some more.
Now, the marriage has aged (sometimes I'll say "matured"), and we give away as much as we dare while clinging to something of a lifestyle. We aren't sure how much of the kid's college we'll pay for. We don't dare take any financial risks in this economy, with our depreciating home and our aging auto. The drinking is more focused, and less recreational (in his case). We are each weary in our way with America and each other, immersed as we generally are in politics and social justice, coping in our different ways with uncertainty and sort of an accumulated societal despond. So Obama should be good for the sex life, right? A shot in the arse, a pepper-upper. Something new to talk about.
The wind was warm and sort of springtime crazy-like this morning, as I walked through the last of the yellowing maple leaves. The streets were damp (no rain yet, just street sweepers in a rush to clear the leaves before they clogged the storm sewers.) The sunlight was hazy, and a low gray sweep of clouds weighted the southwestern horizon. I wore a nice outfit, and marched cheerfully along, whistling some awful Enya tune and feeling generally, irrationally, head-over-heels desperately in love with the idea that Obama could truly be change, hope. A messianic figure, already posing for immortality.