Monday, November 10, 2008

November Monday

The homeless woman who lives on the riverbank opposite my office window has brought in more junk--cardboard boxes and plastic sheets--probably to get ready for winter. The space is just big enough to scrunch into and lie down in and it's right on the mud that tops the pilings. I can't imagine anyone sleeping there, but this woman does and has for a long time. Apparently, the police come in and roust her out occasionally, but she always comes back again, and they have better things to do than to keep an eye on her. Sometimes she appears to have roommates, as it were, and I picture them all sleeping head to toe to head to toe.

It's an odd scene in the middle of urban renewal and picturesque coastline. Yuppies jog by in their running gear unaware, and cars park in the neighboring lot at $35 each. Meanwhile, here on the sixth floor I look out the window at the pelicans and the seagulls wheeling by.

Post-Election Thoughts

Well, Obama's won, and I'm hugely relieved. I'm even proud. Proud of all the Americans who voted for integrity and sanity and intelligence, for judgment and prudence in a multicultural package. It is like the dawn of a new age, a more accurate reflection of the America we've become. At least I hope so. Heaven knows Mr. Obama has his work cut out for him. The economy is in shambles and so is the infrastructure. I find myself wanting to ask him to tell us what he needs from us, how we can help him with the monumental task he is undertaking. He has the potential to be a remarkable president.

The country heaved a huge sigh of relief when he won; I swear you could almost hear it, and certainly you could feel it, a lifting of shame and helplessness and a new feeling of pride and hope. I am looking forward to Michelle Obama, too, as an unusually articulate, confident, and educated first lady, and I think those little girls will enliven the White House and all of us. It is good to be able to look forward to what's coming next. It's been a long time since I've had that feeling in any national sense.