I’m with them

Like so many others riveted by the presidential proceedings in Americaland, I haven’t had time for much of anything except food-, hygiene- and rss-related activities at home in the fortnight I’ve been remiss with my blogging. If it matters to you, sorry!

Today I attended two short talks and sort-of-a debate re: the US presidential elections at a local university. Not so much because I yearned to hear what they had to say — I find the voices online at places like fivethirtyeight.com and truthdig.com to be more edifying and sometimes moving — but because I wanted to sorta-kinda vet the faculty there.

You see, I was considering a Masters with the pol sci department, but now I think … maybe I should look elsewhere. No offence, but I think I need more diversity, challenge and depth. Now what?

Anyway, before I disappear for another fortnight (am heading back to Singapore and then to India in mid November), I’d better crank out something on the glorious experience that was Cape No. 7 《海角七號》 with the director in attendance, and a long-long-long-delayed proper recap of my first trip to India more than a year ago.

Between now and then, I leave with you two works of beauty encountered today:

Free at last! Free at last!

There is something stirring in America.

Back at the rally, after the march had left MLK Gardens, I’d gone back for the car while Brett took photos, and I spotted a very old black man in a sharp Sunday suit walking slowly at the very back of the huge march. He hadn’t yet arrived at the voting center, and I decided to find him when I got back.

I wanted to go talk to him, to ask him what this moment meant to him. He was a guy who you take one glance at, and know, that guy’s seen it all. I wanted a quote. I had my journalist hat on. I thought, this will be great.

So when I got back to the voting location with the car, I went to find him in the line. Eventually I spotted him, and was ready to walk up the few feet between us and introduce myself when I stopped in my tracks.

A young black boy, no more than eight years old, walked up to this man, who was at least eighty. The boy offered the man a sticker, probably an “I Voted” sticker, but I couldn’t see. The man took the sticker and paused. Silently, he looked down at the boy, who was looking back up at the man. The man put his hand gently on the boy’s head, and I saw his eyes glisten.

I didn’t ask the man for a quote. I didn’t need to. I walked over by myself, behind the community center, and I sat down on a bench next to the track, and wept.

Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!

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