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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Post-election impressions

My boyfriend spent most of the night watching the election returns in Beerland. It is safe to say that the denizens of Beerland were not just predominantly Kerry supporters, but totally with our man. Between bands, they played CNN instead of the usual jukebox full of garage and punk rock, and someone has netted up a bunch of balloons behind the stage to release when Kerry was announced the winner. The balloons were never released.

Yesterday, shortly after Kerry conceded I walked over to the lunch counter in the gym with a newspaper in hand to get a sandwich. The women working behind the counter all held their breath when they saw that I had a paper with pictures of the candidates on it. I just shook my head sadly and said, "Bush won." Their faces all fell. One woman made the gun-to-the-head gesture. Another sighed and said, "God help us, mija."

It was hard to miss all the people sitting at bus stops or benches staring into space, tears in their eyes. Walking in front of a young couple, I felt my stomach turn as the girl said in almost pleading tones, "What are we going to do now that they all hate us?"

Walking around another corner, I saw a guy crossing with the Walk signal nearly get hit by an SUV with a bumper sticker advertising a country western station on it. The male driver gestured rudely at the pedestrian while the bleached blonde female passenger looked pissed off. Instead of scurrying out of the way as they likely expected, the pedestrian turned heel, marched up to the window, rapped on it and yelled at they driver, "Fuck you! Do you know what this signal means?" while making the walking fingers. Then he stomped off.

Confrontations between pedestrians/bicyclists and reckless SUV drivers is part of the fabric of Austin's existence and these incidents usually get no more than a passing glance from other pedestrians. But this time everyone on the sidewalk seemed to go very, very still and stare at where the accident nearly occured, even after both the car and the pedestrian had left the scene, if only for a moment. The hair on the back of my neck rose, and I hoped that I was the only one thinking that it was portentous. But I don't think that I was, not looking at the other faces on the sidewalk.

25 Comments:

Blogger Ross A Lincoln said...

I hate to say it, but I'm really afriad that what you saw is a sign of things to come. I for one am never giving the right the benefit of the doubt again. And even more ominously, the bragging, gloating, and hostility from them I've seen since we were served yesterday makes me think they're about to open up a can of cruel bully on us.

I've argued for years that the USA is in a kind of cold civil war. I'm kind of afraid it's about to turn hot.

11/04/2004

 
Blogger Roxanne said...

What you describe really creeps me out ...because the exact thing happened to me in the 80s.

11/04/2004

 
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I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

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