Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Being in the vicinity of The Man Himself

They said he moved crowds, stirred up the passions of millions and brought the masses together in rapturous dancing and weeping all at once. 

They said he offered hope to the desperate and amelioration to the devastated; he championed the underdog and spoke truth to power. 

More importantly, they said, he could unite us. He would bring together the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate, black and white, Arab and Jew, conservative and liberal, gay, straight and all the shades in between. 

They  said he was the man for this century, and no one else could do it. The true cosmopolitan who would usher in a new humanitarian age of pax americana. Crowds would flock and swarm to see him, to be in his invigorating presence and hear his scintillating speeches everywhere from North Carolina to California, from Berlin to Jakarta and from Nairobi back to Chicago. 

They said all of this, so we made the pilgrimage, threw caution to the wind and set out to see the man who would usher in a new age. Word of mouth had it that he would be 130 miles away to give his last speech before the Fateful Day. Through previous and very kind acquaintances we were put in contact with a group of strangers-to us and to the land- who were on a journey inspired by Him. It would cost all the riches and sustenance we had to get there and back, we could end up stranded in  a strange land with no roof over our heads and no method of transport, but something urged us to go on.

We entered their vehicle not knowing their names, but soon found out that we were among kindred spirits. The vehicle-named the Road to Change- was bursting with energy. In the true spirit of the diversity he claimed to represent and encourage we journeyed together, children and adults, men and women, gay and straight, white, black, latino, and Arab, healthy and disabled, Western and Eastern, Muslim, Christian and other-all seven (and what an enchanted number that is) of us, on our way to find the great man, the one and only O. It seemed that history was aware of us at that moment because we had acknowledged that it was putting on one of its best performances, or so the epic novelist writing this would say. 

After hours and hours of trudging through rain and steep inclines, and after earning our golden ticket to see O by means of braving through the terrifyingly immaculate terrain of  American suburbia, delivering the message of O from doorstep to doorstep, we had merited the right to meet Him.

For hours the crowds waited in angst and excitement, women broke into tears at his mention, paeans of joyous celebration in preparation for his coming abounded, and music and dance filled the open field where he was to make his appearance and speak to us. 

Finally, it was time. Prayers were said. Songs of reverence to the Higher Cause were chanted. The crowds cheered, and and right there, a few feet away from me, almost within touching distance, entered the one and only Barack Hussein Obama to deafening screams and applause and chants of "Obama, Obama" and "Yes We Can." And then he spoke. And after every other uttered phrase, the crowd shouted amens. It was a religious experience par excellence, and as one ardent supporter I had the honor to befriend put it, " The man is almost godly." Tens of thousands stood behind us, and there we stood almost at the very front, able to see the wrinkles on the face of The Man Who Could, the almost next president of the United States of American, and Leader of the Free World.

After hours of waiting, he was gone in 20 minutes, but he left everyone buzzing and determined to go out and find that one last American who still hadn't voted and make sure they go to vote for Barack Obama, today, on the 4th of November. 

The rest of our story is history. Through the blessings of what has come to be known as "Obama Karma" after walking across dangerous highways in cold wet weather for what seemed like forever, we parted with our companions, a magical bunch in themselves, and were rescued by two other extraordinary and kind strangers who offered us a ride back to our resting abode which was three hours away. 

And today? All we can do is wait and see if the prophecy will fulfill itself; if all the drama, and passion and fervor and romance and hope, if all that hope, will be vindicated. 

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