Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day

My niece and her husband who live in Dallas flew to Boston for the weekend to visit my girl and her love. They had to post negative covid tests before they flew. It did my heart good to imagine the cousins together again after so many months apart. The two couples apparently ate their way through Boston, rating the meals and the cocktails and having a fine time together. They sent me pictures all weekend, because, well, they know I live vicariously through them. It snowed in Boston, which meant that Munch, the puppy, experienced his first taste of snow. 

One of my daughter's closest new friends in Boston happens to be a lifelong Texas Republican, who wasn't going to vote because she hates Trump, but after many deep and searching conversations with my daughter and another of their friends, she decided to send in her absentee ballot for Biden after all. She is white. Her husband is black. The third friend, who is also white, told her, "You and I may not have anything to fear from Trump, but people you love, do." And my daughter admitted to her that when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, she wanted to purely mourn her, but couldn't because the salient emotion she was experiencing was fear of what her death might mean to people who look like we do in this country. I think these openhearted, nonjudgmental talks helped deliver one more Texas vote for Biden. I imagine this kind of exchange is not always possible with Trump supporters, but then, my daughter's friend is a Republican but not a Trump supporter. I'm hoping that particular distinction will make all the difference when the ballots are counted tonight.

Our son and his love came over earlier to show us his new car, a Honda Accord Sport. His dad got behind the wheel and we drove around the city for a while, before dropping his love off at the salon to get her hair trimmed. The streets were fairly empty everywhere. No long lines of voters, which makes me think most of New York City voted early. I snapped that photo of my boy in the back seat, leaning over his dad's shoulder pointing out some of the car's features. He looked at me like, why on earth are you taking my picture right now? Then we came home and our son hung out with us till his sweetheart was done with her hair appointment. He's going to be working tonight, so he'll watch election returns at the firehouse, where at least half of his fellow firefighters want Trump to win; somehow my boy navigates this world while managing to stay true to himself. Still, I would not want to watch the returns with a bunch of Trump supporters.

I voted on Sunday, in a downpour. A DJ had set up on the Harlem street corner, blaring music, and one of the poll workers was dancing the electric slide on the sidewalk, not caring about the rain. Single-handedly she made the whole atmosphere feel festive, hopeful. And now, we wait. I plan to keep myself quitely at home for the rest of the day. I started a puzzle on the dining table to distract myself, and I'm reading Mariah Carey's riveting new memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, which my friend Michaela Angela Davis brilliantly collaborated on. I aspire to write like this. I love the way the narrative verges on magical realism when recounting events from the perspective of a child, or a dreamer, because isn't that how the world can seem to children and dreamers?

If anyone is looking for serious binge watching distraction today, I highly, highly recommend The Queen's Gambit on Netflix, best thing I've watched in a long while. Seven episodes based on a book by the same name, about an orphaned girl who turns out to be a kick ass chess prodigy, a survivor, but also a troubled one, taking on an international gaming world dominated by men. It's set in the 1960s, the cinematography is beautiful, and Anya Taylor-Joy is captivating in the role of Beth Harmon, the chess master.

One relationship in particular, with the character whose name we know only as Mother, was just so moving to me, problematic for sure, but also so true to how it often goes in life, when there is love and need and trauma. I wont say more so as not to give spoilers, but it's definitely worth your time. And though your heart may be in your throat some of the time, I promise it won't leave you in a funk at the end, except maybe the funk of pining for characters who climbed inside you, and now you must now let them go. Let me know what you think if you decide to watch.

Okay, people, let's all send powerful wishes into the ether, just in case it's as plastic as the sages say, and can be sculpted by the collective force of our desires. Here's my obligatory "I voted" photo. May decency and hope prevail when this election is over. And may we know it to be so on this very night. 


  1. I've got Mariah's book. I had no idea of the horrible beginning of her life. I felt so bad for her. I had to put it down for a bit but am at the part where she just left Tommy. I have nothing but the utmost respect for her. She is truly a phoenix.

  2. my sister drove past the polling place here in this small town mid morning and she said the parking lot was mostly empty. leads me to believe most people here voted early. I have no plans to watch the returns preferring to hope for good news Monday morning.

  3. Canadian holding her breath, sort of. We have Trump supporters up here. Sad.

  4. I always love seeing the photos of your beautiful family. I love how they all love each other.
    We voted early and are just waiting for results whenever they come, trying as best we can to stay as sane as we can be. It's a moment by moment challenge. Hoping for the best.
    Thank you for the TV show review. We'll be needing lots of shows to keep our mind off the real-life drama of these times.

  5. For whatever reason, this post made me cry. There are so many of us who are barely able to breathe right now but just the fact that I know that no matter what, we will still be here, together in our strong beliefs and values, comforts me.
    I am holding on to your hand as tight as I can. I love you, woman.

  6. How is it that everyone you're related to is so pretty? I love that picture of the two cousins.
    I currently am drowning in existential dread, I am so afraid.

  7. Mary said it perfectly. Whatever happens, we will have those we love and that love us. May love prevail.

  8. I read a review of Mariah's book, oh, girl, i just don't know that I can go there at this time. There are not enough blue pills in my jar. No matter the outcome , we are all in love with one another here in blogworld, We may get through OK. It is not looking great right now as I glance over my shoulder to see what the man is watching/listening to...he has headphones. No need for the torture , we will find out eventually and that will determine ...many things. Your kids- are 100% glorious- that includes Munch!

  9. Your children are both so beautiful! I'm so glad that your daughter was able to influence her friend. I honestly just don't get Republicans and have absolutely no inclination to make peace with any of them, so I'm grateful that there are those who do. I am in the middle of "The Queen's Gambit" and love it!

  10. Reading your words and looking into the faces of the younger generation in your family, I know that we will not be defeated, no matter what happens.

  11. Your family has such lovely eyes! Look how they shine in these photos. Thanks for sharing your beautiful family! I have not been watching TV results and will wait until the votes are counted. Still hoping...

  12. The thing I cannot wrap my head around is how so many people have voted for Trump and his values. I find it both sad and frightening. Is this what half of America thinks and believes and holds dear? My god, it's hard to swallow.

    Thank you for this post which - while acknowledging the tension and fear - still manages to add to the beauty that truly is around us if we look for it.