A Night To Remember

6 11 2008
Hold on to your keyboard and nipples people, this blogger is about to get insightful. Most of you come to my blog with the anticipation of reading something about as deep as a plastic kiddie pool. I hardly drop my humor and phenomenal wit to delve into something profound. On this day however, November 5, 2008, I would be remiss if I did not discuss with you the groundbreaking events of last night. Don’t worry, there will still be a few fucking curse words or two to make you feel right at home.
obama dunk

With 349 Electoral votes and counting, Obama simply dominated McCain.

It all started yesterday with margaritas (making vomiting sounds) at 10:30 a.m.  (Sorry……”fuking margaritas.”) Jesus, I’m not a trained monkey here people. You just can’t expect me to curse in every godamn article! Anyways…. what the hell was I talking about? Oh yeah, pre-noon tequila.
Tequila is always one of those things that starts off as a genius idea, then quickly turns south after you realize you just drank three strong ass margaritas. In your office…With higher-ups in the company…Before eating….anything. Nonetheless, Election Day 2008 started off with a bang (and maybe a dry heave or two.)
Before the Patron and early afternoon hangover…. I woke up yesterday with an overwhelming feeling of hope. A feeling that we would all be a part of something much bigger than ourselves later that evening. I could feel it as I turned on CNN while waking up late for work. Polls were opening, long lines were forming and millions of people were making their voices heard. Switching over to FOX, just to make sure my morning news would be “fair and balanced,” a scrolling headline read “McCain Wins With 0% Reporting!!!” Greta Van Susteren kept yelling “McCain ith Prethident!”
Before walking out the door, I threw on my “Barack. Paper. Scissors” t-shirt and made my way to work via DC’s public transportation. It was overcast and nipply out, but most city commuters had looks of possibility in their eyes and warm smiles on their faces. We could feel the change-a-comin’!
As the afternoon flew by, thanks to our Government Relations Dept. and their stash of top-shelf tequila, the excitement and anxiety grew by the hour. We finally closed up shop, said our good lucks and prepared ourselves for one hell of a memorable evening. Whichever way the cookie were to crumble, the world was in for a historic night.
A few of us set up at a bar not too far from our office downtown. We grabbed a few pitchers, an order of sliders or two and posted up like Dikembe Mutombo. The normally raucous crowd stared incessantly at the four flatscreens, all of which were tuned to CNN’s live coverage. With each dramatic commercial break, we waited for the obnoxiously loud music to inform us a “CNN Prediction” had been made. It was electrifying and the feeling was contagious. People screamed with each state that was announced. First Pennsylvania came, along with a barrage of high fives and multiple cheers. The more states Wolf Blitzer announced, the more cheering and awkward Tiger Woods-esque high fives were thrown. It had the feeling of a World Series game seven or a Super Bowl overtime. Then came the announcements of Ohio and Virginia, Obamataking both. It was then that people started to get silent. Collectively, we all started to realize “holy shit, this could really happen…and happen soon.” It was at that moment that the California polls closed. The state with 54 electoral votes was enough to sling Obama past the 270 needed to be elected….and with plenty to spare.
The packed bar stared at the screen…fingers crossed, waiting as if a last second field goal was about to be kicked. With no time to prepare for what was about to happen, Wolf came on screen. Before the words could leave his mouth, the headline hit CNN…sending nearly 100 of us into a victorious roar. “CNN Projection: Barack Obama Elected President.” High fives flew, tears were flowing and beer was spilling everywhere from all the celebratory cheers. You could hear local bars and restaurants near by erupt into the same enthusiastic roar. At that very moment, we were all witnessing history in the making.
As McCain stepped on stage to make his concession speech, the bar returned to it’s normal octave. The patrons could see the hard work in his eyes combined with the lack of sleep and sadness he must have felt. He was gracious and everyone appreciated that. At the end of his difficult speech, the crowd once again erupted, as if to acknowledge the good fight McCain’s campaign put up.
After 30 minutes of waiting, then came the moment we had all been anticipating. When Obama finally made his way on stage in front of over 200,000 people in Chicago…our bar went silent. Everyone just stared, doe-eyed, clenching on to their beers. I could over hear a guy near me mutter “Dude, this speech is going to make me cry like a little bitch.” Believe me, he wasn’t the only one. People were transfixed on Obama throughout his speech. No one dared speak. Looking around the room, there was not a dry eye in the house. Grown men, women, even the bartenders were choking up. It was more powerful than we could have ever imagined. People were consumed by the moment and everything that it encompassed. A moment we will certainly tell our children and grandchildren about.
“Let’s go to the White House!” Someone yelled as Obama’s speech ended. Without thinking or explaining why the White House exactly…everyone piled out of the bar and headed for the streets. It was 12:30 a.m. on an early Wednesday morning and the streets were alive like Mardi Gras! It felt like Spring Break, Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl all rolled into one night. Every street was packed with cars and ecstatic pedestrians…and we were all headed for the White House.
The walk was long, but no one gave a shit. It was raining, but no one gave a shit. Most everyone had to work in a few hours…and no one gave a shit. People were running up to cars and throwing high fives. Strangers were dancing in the street and shouting “We did it!” It was the most electrifying two- mile-walk any of us had ever made.
After countless high-fives and cheers with thousands of strangers, we finally made our way to the front gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There were thousands of people crammed in, shoulder to shoulder. Some with signs reading “Goodbye Bush.” Others had bongos to help the crowd keep rhythm while chanting “OH-BAH-MUH” The crowd was big and condensed, but it was unlike any sporting event or concert crowd I had ever seen. People were too overwhelmed with what was taking place to worry about someone stepping on their toes, or getting bumped into constantly. There were no fights or animosity to be found within the crowd.
A friend of mine suggested we have some fun and start a chant of our own. For all intents and purposes, we wanted to see how many people we could get involved in our genius idea. So, we made our way through the crowd and started up the all-time-favorite “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.” It was a statement to Bush and to the past eight years that our country has endured. The chant caught on like wildfire. We were jumping up and down with strangers, signing at the top of our lungs and pumping our fists. We jumped in front of news cameras and started our chant. We walked around aimlessly and started our chant. Every time we did it, more and more people jumped on the bandwaggon.
Around 1:30 a.m. our voices started to fade and so did the crowd. We started the walk back to our respective neighborhoods and realized something amazing. No one was stopping. People were still hanging out of cars and honking horns. People were still dancing in the street and screaming “We did it.” Everyone wanted to soak up the historic night in its entirety…and who could blame them. The walk home was just as lively and electrifying as the one down to the White House. High-fiving and cheering continued. People got our of their cars and danced, sang and even hugged random strangers.
For a kid who grew up in a rural-redneck-ignorant area of the country, there was something comforting and rewarding about seeing so many people in my new neighborhood excited about change. People in DC were not only embracing the idea of an African-American President, but we were cheering, chanting and singing for it. Whereas in my hometown, residents were informing local democratic committee cold callers that they would never “Vote for that fucking (N-word.)” Needless to say, I had never been happier to be a DC resident than on November 4th.
I finally got back to my apartment around 2:30 a.m. I turned on CNN, flipped off the lights and crashed out on my queen size-bed. My legs were tired, but I didn’t give a shit. My voice was nowhere to be found, but I didn’t give a shit. My hangover was starting to kick in…and I couldn’tgive a shit. Before passing out for the count, I threw open my eighth floor window. It was nearing 3:00 a.m. and the sound of car horns, people cheering and singing still engulfed the streets below. I closed my eyes, smiled and thought….I will remember this night forever.
edunn
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7 responses

6 11 2008
Al

14th and U was ridiculous! We had our windows open at 11 and it just sounded like the whole city fucking erupted! I had to go downstairs for that one… ended up partying in the street and at the white house until almost 3. I love this fucking town!

7 11 2008
Species

sounds like D.C. to me… anyway… I didn’t vote for him, but I am excited to see change one way or the other… I hope this is for the best… happy to know you had such a powerful experience though.. I know you had a blast…

7 11 2008
lisa

that was amazing dunn, i got the chills over and over again while i was reading it. wish i was there!

7 11 2008
Mike D

You say you are from a redneck little town – but Omama won Polk son! What! Anyways not to get too sentimental but AFD called this election back in 5/2007 – BEFORE IT STARTED. He’s smiling for sure, and that’s probably the only reason I’m cool with being on the loosing end!

7 11 2008
Kathryn

Wow- amazing Eric. Thank you for helping me feel like I was actually a part of this night in DC. This was nothing compared to my experience. I am so happy for you and for our country. January 20th here we come 🙂

10 11 2008
lenny

Ay Dunn!!
good job. The next time i see you the margaritas are on me. Excellent writing, very nicely done. (Too bad i voted for mccain j/k)
I Barrocked the vote!!
Leonard

16 11 2008
Amanda

Wish I had been there. I got tears in my eyes reading this. but where did you find a Barack, Paper, Scissors Shirt? I want that!

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