Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tales From VacationLandI didn't completely miss the DNC convention, I was in Massachusetts, and there was a TV at the B&B, but the wireless connection was iffy, and besides, I was in Provincetown, on my annual gay pilgrimage. The choices of things to do in the evening are many and varied, Tea Dance, After Tea Dance, dinner at a host of great restaurants, or sitting on the deck of my room at the B&B, looking out over the harbor, enjoying quiet time with my Most Significant Other (MSO). I did honestly try to view as much as I could of the convention, I even requested at several drinking establishments, a change from the Boston Red Sox game to CNN, arguing to the 24 year old that history was being made at this very moment, and what will you tell your grandchildren? That you watched a baseball game? the 24 year olds deffered to my good judgement, and switched the channel, but also turned up the Techno music so that I had to put on my glasses to read the lips of the speakers.
On Thursday, we had dinner at Level, a restaurant that has amazing food, but the thing that keeps us going back, is the raspberry peach pie, with vanilla bean ice cream. The TV in the bar was tuned to the convention, and all of us were waiting for history to be made, we listened to Al Gore, we ate our dinner while Dick Durbin spoke, we waited for our dessert as the little short film of Obama's life played, thinking that it was nearly 11 pm, and time for sleep, and why does this have to be such a production? It was like waiting for Best Picture award at the Oscars, all of the hype and suspense, but at the convention, we already knew the ending. Here are some of the bits of conversation that I heard at the tables surrounding me:
"It should have been Hillary."
"Didn't she look fabulous in the tangerine suit?"
"Her make-up was flawless."
"I know that I have to vote for Barack, but I'm just not ready yet."
As Obama started to speak, I saw a woman make the Catholic sign of the cross.
Just at that moment, my peach and raspberry pie arrived, the pie warm and the crust flaky, and the ice cream melting at the perfect temperature. I was torn between history, and the very urgent now, the pie sweet and immediate, the future not certain, a crap shoot at this most pressing moment in our story. I know the choice that we make this November is not like the choices we have made in the past, this November, the choice is maybe our last chance as a country to do the right thing, and we are now committed to a path that may fail. Imagine my surprise in Provincetown, of all places, to hear random talk of dissent of the most loyal of Democrats, on the night that our unity was required at the highest level of national politics.
I'm sure that gay Americans will fall in line, but I'm not sure that this election is a done deal. In fact, if we look at the polls, Obama has gotten an eight percent bump from the convention, but the news from the last 24 hour cycle is all about some unknown woman from Alaska, the Republicans have done what the Democrats have only given lip service to, including women on the ticket. So don't get all warm and fuzzy and full of hope just yet my fellow liberals, the rug has just been pulled out from under us, and we have a long hard road until November.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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