I imagine that the Election of 2008 will be one of those events that define our generation; It will be yet another one of those instances in which, years later, people will ask you, “where were you when Barack won the election?”
And I will say to those people, “Well, I was in my bed sleeping.”
I imagine the jaw of the asker might sag a little at my decidedly lackluster response, but P.C. or not, that is the way of things; time zones and daylight savings saw to that. But that morning, after my alarm buzzed loudly and pulled me from some dreamless slumber, instead of stumbling out of bed with one foot still in Dreamworld, I sat up straight in my bed…nervousness and excitement warred in my stomach. Picking up the time from my cell phone and doing some quick math to figure out what time it was in the states, I realized that the results of the election should now be known (barring any 2000-esque hiccups). I sprinted in the living room where Mary, one of my roommates, was lounging on the couch and eating her usual breakfast of corn flakes and yogurt. When it registered that the TV she was watching was tuned in to the SABC news, I again felt a surge of nervousness.
“Did he win?” I asked.
She turned around, momentary surprise on her face at seeing me up so much earlier than I had to be. Then her faced cleared and she smiled ear to ear. Her face gave away the answer before he words could.
“It was a landslide.”
From there, it was chaos in our small little flat. The two who had been sleeping woke up at the noise in the living room and joined Mary and I around the small television. We watched a clip of McCain’s conscession speech, touched by his sincerity, and also a clip of Barack’s acceptance speech. So stirred were we by his words that there was a stretch of time where the majority of us were in tears.
It was a good morning. As the initial shock of the news began to dissipate, my mind went in other directions. What would have it been like to be in the states today? I’d never missed home so much. I was sharply reminded that even as I live my life here, life marches on back home. It seems silly, but it’s easy to that forget when you’re so far away.