I got back from the gym tonight at 9 pm and didn’t turn on the television or radio. I put a cd on instead. The radio in my bathroom is plugged into the light fixture, so it automatically turns on when you flip the switch. I reached into the darkness to turn the volume down, before I allowed myself to bump the lever from off to on, so I wouldn’t have to hear his voice, even for a second. I sat at my computer, checked email and pretended that the State of the Union wasn’t happening and that George W. Bush wasn’t President. In order not to cry, I ignore.
My friend Katey emailed me tonight, and at the end wrote, “forgive me for total clumsy punctuation. i had to finish a bottle of wine in order to get through bush’s state of the union address.” I called my parents about an hour ago, and my mother was narrated the people she saw on the television over the phone to me. She said at one point that McCain was clapping, but the expression on his face seemed to say, “You fucking idiot” or so she thought. My dad walked around the house singing, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you” to the voice on the television, before he left to go to a meeting of peace activists.
I was a politics major in college, and passionate about our system of governance from the age of 13. During the Clinton years I would tape the State of the Union, so as to be better able to stop and go back to the bits I had missed the first time around. I dreamt about someday working in politics, but then my senior year of college, Bush was elected, and my plans changed. Maybe someday, I will be to reignite that spark of excitement for the political process that I once held, but not during this administration.