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My Election Night

The last person to vote at Portland, Oregon's Pioneer Courthouse Square's ballot drop off box was a homeless woman named Louise. She had been living under a bridge since 2004. My eight-year-old son and I stood beside the drop-box watching her reach into a bag and pull out her ballot. After she submitted her vote we talked. Then a homeless man came up. "I think we are going to find a better way to do this," the woman said, meaning dealing the problems she and the man faced. A cold night. Rain. No where to live. Together we stood by the ballot box watching the poll workers gather up the envelopes and close the booth. The square was largely empty and quiet. It was 8 P.M Pacific time. My son and I walked across the street. Suddenly I felt a rush of joy and shouted "Obama!" My son grabbed my arm. "Mama, you're embarrassing me." "I can't help it," I said. "I just feel it coming." Then we heard a sound. Yelling came from the square; people were pouring out of stores, restaurants, bars. Their hands were raised in the air as they yelled Obama's name. We were told the election had just been called for Barack. My son and I both started to yell "Obama." We screamed it, hollered that man's beautiful name into the rain, and listened as it echoed back again, and again, and again.

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What a wonderful night for America

Hello Naseem,

What a wonderful experience for you to share with your son. I spent last night with my grandfather, Woody, who reacted to Obama's victory by describing to me what this meant to him and America. My grandfather was particularly touched because of his lifelong commitment to civil rights in his capacity as a community organizer in Chicago after World War II and as a parole officer in Oakland throughout the 60s and 70s.

I am hopeful that Obama will fulfill his promise and that this victory will have a more than symbolic impact.

All the best, 

Abraham Mertens, General Counsel, Red Room Omnimedia Corporation

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I wish I could be experiencing pure joy. I wish Obama's win could fill me with newfound respect and hope for the American people's wisdom. It does those things, and I am truly relieved to be moving on from the Bush years. And I'm grateful that a remarkable man like Obama WANTS to be president and tackle all our messes. BUT, California has rained on my parade. How could we pass a ban on gay marriage? In California? This saddens me.


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Again and again...

I share your elation.  I've spent so many elections voting for  the lesser of two evils (not always right about that one), that given the chance this election to vote for someone who inspires hope, was an experience unto itself.  My wife and I were in different cities election night, but we were glued to the phone, commenting on this channel and that channel, comments, and whatever.  We were sort of crabby in the beginning, the possibility of another disappointment coloring our conversation.

 But then it happened.  I can only compare my feeling to a children's book I read long ago.  It was called Phaethon and was about a son of Apollo who stole the sun god's chariot to carry the sun across the sky.  The boy was unable to control the steeds and the sun and held on for dear life.  I was that boy Election Night.  I was Phaethon.  I'd harnessed joy and was wholly unprepared at how powerful it was and where it would take me.

Even now, I'm still a little giddy with the hope Obama represents.


Weston Ochse - Dark Fiction Author and Superhero for Rent