It is incredibly dark out tonight, a strange occurrence in a bustling city such as this. I suppose that even in a crowded city the lights still go off at one point or another. I couldn’t figure out why I was out, just walking. I walk aimlessly, without purpose, and without a destination. Even surrounded by buildings being flooded with heat, the city is still as cold as ice on a mid-fall night in Boston. Again, I had to ask myself why I made the decision to leave my room to wander on such a night.
I was scared to leave my room the night before. It was Election Day, and Barrack Obama had won, becoming the first black president in the history of the United States. The streets went wild; you would have thought the Red Sox had just won the World Series. I have never seen this much wide spread excitement before. People were drinking in celebration and taking to the streets. It was so crowded you’d be hard pressed to fine the lines on the road. All you could hear were cries of, “Obama! Obama! Obama!” It was a party, no doubt about it.
Why throw such an impromptu party? Why was this guy so damn important? He is the first black president. Why does that make a difference? Was history really made? I could’ve sworn the point of Martin Luther King’s speech was equality. If it were really equal, the history books wouldn’t even acknowledge Obama’s race. I don’t know about you, but in my middle school textbook, it didn’t say Abraham Lincoln, the 16th white president, was assassinated. I guarantee that Barack Obama will forever be introduced as “the first black president”. I thought it wasn’t supposed to matter?
That is the idealism of course, race shouldn’t matter, it shouldn’t make one lick of difference. I am not quite sure Obama would’ve won if he wasn’t black. For all the disadvantages for minorities, for once I think it was the advantage. A lot of people voted let alone voted for him simply because he was black. The poor black community I was walking through cared about the election simply because he was black. There was a party in the streets simply because he was black.
Broken glass interrupted my thoughts, sudden and yet subtle. No matter, the sounds of a city. The lights may eventually go off but the commotion of the city never really ceases, only becomes scarce. Back to my thoughts, however, my mind is now lost.
That’s right; Obama. I have no idea what to think about it all. It’s funny how the mind and body work in unison, since I don’t know what to do either. My life is such a haze right now. I’m just going through the motions without thought. I go to work with disdain rather than enthusiasm. Everyone around me is living while I feel like I’m already dead, just waiting for it to become official. I am waiting for Obama’s HOPE to kick in.
I stop, in the middle of a square. No stars out tonight. It was overcastted all day today, typical. As I stare up I see the buildings as if they are about to converge. One of those tricks of perception. It is almost as if they want to trap me, close in upon me. Lord, listen to me, talking nonsense.
More city noises and my train of thought is lost again. There is absolutely no movement anywhere. It’s time to go home. My steps echo through the alley ways. My steps continue to echo as I stop for breath. I have never heard a reverberated sound like this, it was strange. Almost seems like a completely different source.
I was too wrapped up in my own head. Something is going on. Someone is following me. I yelled out, “Who’s there?!”
“Dude, wait up!” My stalker came into view. It was a friend, Patrick Lockwood, who is so Irish it surprises me he doesn’t have the accent.
“Why are you out here?” I asked.
“Why the fuck are you running?” Pat asked, always answering a question with another question. He’s fucking jeopardy.
“We are in the middle of Southie in Boston and I heard footsteps at 2 o’clock in the morning, what would you do?”
“After last night? Don’t you think everyone needs 24 hour recovery time?” asked Pat, or should I call him Trabek?
“I need recovery time from last night, and I watched it from my 4th story room.”
“Besides, Southie is like 99% black, they all in a good mood.”
He had a good point. I have never seen anything like what I saw the night before. It was the exact opposite scene of this night. Everyone flooded the streets. You couldn’t hear yourself think. Everyone was chanting. “Obama, Obama, Obama.” It was mardis gras just with “hope” and not tits.
“You know what the funny thing is?”
“What?” Question with a question.
“I think a lack of hope is why I am out here.”
“What the fuck is this hope?”
“Good question,” I said to Alex Trabek.