It has been one month now, since I traveled south at midnight to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama- with no tickets to speak of, only a wish in our hearts to "be there". We drove all night in a mini cooper cozy with four people and the radio blaring, to arrive in Maryland at a train station at 5 am. We didn’t get into DC until ten, and then, in a sea of people moving together, lurching forward and back like the tide, we entered into the elusive area where the capitol building was in sight and voices could be heard as echoes off the buildings. The corner of 3rd Street and Constitution Ave.
It was bitterly cold that day, my toes had long since gone numb, and the lack of sleep and mess of people had taken their toll. But the overwhelming feeling that day was of solidarity; we were all there, because for the first time, at least in my young life, we believed our president to be a good man, capable of the task before him. When he spoke, all was quiet. What I heard him say will forever resonate in that moment in time. I drank those words in, I swallowed them, and my belly was full with confidence, and pride.
Later that week, after I had made the long journey back to Boston, I was returning from a bar around midnight, walking down the street, when I encountered a boy belligerently drunk and bleeding from his face. It is difficult to explain my profound disappointment in this sight. Obviously, I was concerned, because he was hurt. But my concern reached another level, a level not unlike despair, because how, how can we ever hope for a peaceful world, if in our own neighborhoods we have to worry about conflicts that end with blood?
The day after Christmas is always quiet. Surveying gifts. Tired of playing with them. A sense of disillusionment hangs atop the tree. Things you wanted so badly- and now you have! already lack their original charm. Everything is still the same, regardless of your acquisition of something fantastic.
The road to this election was passionate and exciting, and there was a very real hope that the world might be different if Barack Obama inhabited that house, instead of someone else. But the excitement was killed by fulfillment; political liberals have been hushed, satisfied, and objectors have lost interest. There are no more heated debates, rushes of hope, screams of delight, but only the cold, hard, iron taste of blood after midnight, to remind us that moments of peace and optimism are rare, and that we still have a long way to go.
- Carly Pifer
- Born and raised under the Los Angeles sun and smog. At sixteen spent some time in LA County Juvenile Detention Center, although never really learned her lesson. Moved to Boston for the classic college experience. Spray painted graffiti in the Paris Metro during six month stay in the Marais. Survived an ultra fabulous and frightening internship at Vogue Magazine while living at a nunnery in Hell's Kitchen. Lived a year in Seoul, a city which can only be compared to a Disneyland theme park. Written four hundred sixty-four words of an undisclosed masterpiece novel. Currently pondering her next adventure and also the meaning of her memoirs from an artist's loft in dirty Brooklyn.