Saturday, October 25, 2008

on im)possibilities(?

____yes we can.


my thoughts have been with this man these last few days. for any number of reasons. some of them arbitrary. i like his haircut, and think maybe i should try it out. i have been thinking about his grandmother, and how she explained to her friends that her daughter was marrying a very dark man from Kenya. (and some years later, an Indonesian man). i can't say entirely why i relate to the Senator from Illinois on an almost personal level- i almost never relate to television-personalities on a personal level, and least of all politicians. Clinton has way more sex than me, and he's cool. JFK has this ease about him, he always looks like a magazine fashion spread. President Bush is too masculine for me. Committed, personable, jovial. i tend to feel more comfortable around people who see more grey than black&white. (i'm scared if they see black&white, then i won't be visible). But Mr. Obama i relate to. i think in many ways he must be lonely right now, in the sense that... in 10 days (or 9, depending on where in the world you are), he may be the first man in a while to walk on the moon. to find a leprechaun. to breathe life into old i have a dreams. But why should i relate to him? He's... intellectually far superior to just about anyone i've ever met. he's thorough, pragmatic, precise. he carries himself with a modesty that you don't often see. he manages to make plain-cut suits trendy. he loves his wife. he isn't daunted by the things he's being called. if he's sensitive to it, he doesn't let on. sometimes, i think he must get home at night, take his white shirt off (and i imagine him walking around his hotel room in a white, ribbed singlet, his trousers and matching socks still on), wash his face under luke-warm water, and look up into the mirror and think: wtf. how'd this happen? is the world really ready for this? how'd it happen to me? that's the marvel of this, thanks to Gatsby, Hunter S. Thompson, Rovian politics (and a stolen election), i'd more or less decided the American Dream (which, by the way, is the entire world's dream: to live in peace, to be given enough space to speak your mind, practice your religion, love your wife, raise your children, earn a fair wage for a hard-day's labor, and watch your babies grow in a world where their hard-work can amount to success- in whatever endeavor they find fascinating. that's not just an American dream, that's a universal dream) was long-dead. Perhaps once true, but now true only in the minds of Willy Loman, poor kids who haven't anything else to believe in, and the misguided unicorn followers. the rest of everyone knows that poor kids go to poor schools, get poor jobs, and live proletarian lives.

and yet, i can't get the images out of my head. a skinny dude with big ears, wearing a suit that's an inch more fitted than typical (the suit wears a mischievous smile of fashionista in camoflouge, as though it were smiling at the over-sized under-fashioned USA going: admit it, you guys can't dress worth a damn, i prove it) and standing there, dumbing down his vocabulary in order to convince people that it might be true: yes_we_freaking_can. So i sit there and think, well... can i? I mean... really... can i? Can i get through law school with above average grades? can i get a decent internship? can i... be a good man in an ungood world? can a half-black man with an Arab name become POTUS, i mean, are you effing kidding me? these last few days i've been thinking of something Barrack Obama said earlier in this campaign (to paraphrase):

"I am being called anti-American. I am being called a dissident. That's fine. Abraham Lincoln was a dissident. Martin Luther King was a dissident. Having views that are different from those of official policy does not make you anti-American- in those two cases, those men were great Americans"

so i think of the dissidents that i know who might be up in heaven with ambrosia dripped on popcorn, and nectar mixed into their frozen cokes. Socrates (i believe in domacracy) Ghandi (i believe in peace) Martin Luther King (i believe in dreams)... my grandfather, who perhaps didn't care about any of this 'stuff' while he was alive, i wonder if he's sitting up there now too, thinking: dear humanity, this is your chance to be human. this is your chance to dream that amazing things can happen.

i might be exaggerating, i don't know, i am prone to frequent hyperbole. But for some reason, when i see the man with the large ears standing in front of a podium that says CHANGE, i think, 'i can get perfect grades. i can get find a decent car for 5 grand. i can find a law-firm that will take me a few days a week. i can get into Northwestern on exchange next year. i can be more.' i really do. and there's no reason to feel that way, Barrack Obama (as i heard on CNN yesterday "a once in a lifetime intellect, and a once in a lifetime temperament", that's certainly not me, not i), and yet... some part of me wants to whisper, q... yes we can!. and a little buzz passes through my body, like, even though this world is ripping at the seams and cracking at its joins, we we we we we (can!) put it back together. and even though i made the wrong decision and studied the wrong thing and was too stubborn to change and pursued a trojan horse across four years of deserts and then fell into love and fell out of medical school and spent a year lying by the pool in Santa Monica reading Ulysses and prayers and feeling homeless and lost and unloved and under-achieving and under-performing and under-sexed and under-loved and under-a-too-massive-heavy-ceaseless-blanket-called-unwilling-uninterested-make-it-stop-this-is-too-long-now-life,
despite all that... can we (of all people), be of some use in putting the cracked vases back on shelves, and helping the other we-canners stitch sleeves back onto this ripped shirt(everything)? And the thing is...
the thing is...
the thing is...

i really want to believe we can.
and i really want to. (do it)
and i really want us to do it all together.

it's been an awful long time since i had a feeling like this world could change. (and for some reason, if the world is capable of change, then me too, my little puny life, my little puny intellect, my silly unintentional actions, that's able to change too... do you know what that means? it means anyeverything! anyeverything! what else does one need in life than to believe sincerely that anyeverything is possible? just with hard work and a fair go you can do anyeverything. and that... gives me goosebumps.

(because one man could remind a nation that we can all be new (wo)men and together we can do anyeverything)

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